This year we have been putting aside $75 a month for Christmas expenditures.  We knew we would be traveling over the holiday season, so we were prepared for spending money on things such as gas, food, and hotel expenses.  We figured this amount would be plenty to cover everything that was needed.  I also have an extra $250 coming in December just for additional travel expenses.

I still think it will be, but it is going to be close.  It is amazing how the list of names grows each year.  I try to limit gift amounts to about $20 a person, but I honestly think that is going to be too much for this year.  I may have to lower it to around $10 or $15 a person.  We aren’t even buying for our siblings or extended family members.

Here is the breakdown of how our money is budgeted at this point:

My parents: $75
Hubs parents: $50
Nieces/nephews (8): $160
Friends (6 that I counted so far): $120
Total: $405

If I lower the nieces/nephews to $15 and the friends to $15, that lowers the total down to $335.  I still think that is outrageous for gifts!  The sad thing is that you can’t find much worthwhile for $15 anymore.

I am also aware that random people end up giving gifts, so there always seem to be more gifts to buy than you expected.

After getting everyone else out of the way, that leaves about $100 for our own daughter.  I know this is more than enough, especially since she will be receiving many gifts from family members.  This is the last big Christmas with Hubs’ family, so I am not sure what holidays will look like from here on out.  Aside from the hotel expense (~$215), I think the amount will stay about the same.

 All I know is that I am happy we have been setting aside money every month.  I can’t imagine getting to this time of year and not knowing where money for the holidays is going to come from.

How do you handle expenses during the holiday season?


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