Unfortunately, didn’t turn out that way.
In past years, we would just take our weekend discretionary funds and go shopping, collecting some gifts each weekend from Thanksgiving right up to December 25th.You can imagine that sort of system doesn’t always work out very well. Not knowing exactly how much money we’ll have available for gifts, and no clear plan as to what we’re buying is a recipe for failure.
We wanted this year to be different, but here we are in mid-November with no dedicated Christmas fund.
Last weekend, my wife and I sat down determined to have a marathon budget discussion to come up with a spending plan from now until Christmas in order to determine exactly how much we’d have to spend on holiday activities.
- We normally do a bi-monthly budget, but for this activity we agreed to do the next three budget cycles which extends to December 31st.
- We agreed to a reduced entertainment budget for the remainder of the year, using that money to create our Christmas present fund.
- We went over our expenses countless times to make sure there would be nothing popping up that we should have been able to anticipate.
- Once we had a total amount, we could set amounts to spent on each other, our son, and external family members.
The good news is that we have a plan in place to accomplish our gift giving goals for the the holiday season. The bad news is that we have to be extremely disciplined to stick to our game plan. Any overspending will require us to rebuild the entire plan.
Maybe this will be the year we learn the lesson that we need to start sooner.
When do you start saving for Christmas gifts? Are you in good shape this year, or are you scrambling like we are?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock