September 16, 2014

How I Plan Christmas Spending

Each year I use an excel spreadsheet to plan a budget for Christmas.
  1. I list everyone I need to buy for along with the amount budgeted to spend on each person.  The amount I spend on each person is affected by a couple factors.  One of the main ones is the type of gift I know I'll purchase for that person.  For example my Grandpa and his Wife have asked us not to buy for them for the last few years.  So instead I send them a nice card, have the girls draw pictures for them and add a few photos of the girls.  So I only budget $5 for them.  
  2. As I purchase gifts, I add a column to list the gift I purchased and another column for how much the actual cost was.  
Sometimes I spend a little more than planned and sometimes I find some great deals and spend a little less than planned.  Usually I come in under the total budget amount.  The money that is left over usually goes to buy some extra gifts to donate.

We use extra money from our 2nd 3 paycheck month to pay for our Christmas Spending.  Included in this spending are all gifts except for Mr. R and myself.  Also included are 6 winter birthdays we need to buy gifts for, wrapping paper and Christmas cards and stamps.  I already purchased our Christmas cards at a garage sale.  2 boxes of really nice cards for $3 plus I have left overs from previous years if I need more.  I also have a lot of leftover wrapping paper and gift bags so I don't think I'll need to buy much more this year.

Mr. R's gifts come out of my personal money instead of the joint account.  I budget $150 to spend on him.

Here's how the rest of the budget looks:

Christmas Gifts

Big R $  165.00
Little R  $  165.00
Mom  $   40.00
Step-Dad  $   40.00
Dad and Step-Mom  $   40.00
Grandpa & Wife  $    5.00     
Mother-in-law  $   40.00
Father-in-law  $   40.00
Niece #1  $   25.00
Niece #2  $   25.00
Nephew #1  $   25.00
Nephew #2  $   25.00
Nephew $3  $   25.00
Grandma #1  $   15.00
Grandma #2  $   15.00
Nephew #4  $   20.00
Nephew #5  $   20.00
Nephew #6  $   20.00
Stamps  $   20.00
Gifts from Girls  $   15.00
Great Nephew  $   15.00
Total  $800.00

December Birthdays
Brother-in-law     $20
Best Friend  Son  $15
BF Daughter #1   $15
BF Daughter #2   $15
Nephew #1          $25
Nephew $2          $25

Total                    $115                  

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