Stretching Your Christmas Budget
Christmas is only a few days away! Can you believe it??
Today I wanted to share about how we budgeted and what we spent for Christmas this year. I hope you will find this helpful if you are still needing to shop before Christmas Day or even if your gifts are wrapped and under the tree as you prepare for next Christmas!
So what did we spend on Christmas this year? $150. This included gifts each other, 4 siblings, 3 sets of parents, 2 family Christmas exchange gifts, and a partridge in a pear tree. 😉 And here’s how we did it:
Credit Card Rewards
For you Dave Ramsey followers, you’re probably shocked by this and maybe upset, but Jacob and I have a credit card (check out Responsibly Using a Credit Card). We are responsible with how we use it. We only spend on it when we have the money in our checking account, and we pay it off in full every month.
We got this card in April and have loved the perk of 1.5% cash back. In April we decided that we’d put whatever we earned in cash back rewards to our Christmas fund. By December we had $100 in rewards and that was super helpful in funding for Christmas! We spent a total of $250 with $100 being from credit card rewards and $150 that we saved.
Saving For Christmas
In July I wrote a post on saving for Christmas by creating a sinking fund and saving each month (Christmas in July?). While this is super valuable to save each month, I knew that we weren’t going to be spending much for Christmas so I didn’t start saving until November. For the months of November and December, we put $75 into savings to end up with $150 after the two months.
If you know that you will spend more on Christmas than we did, I highly suggest saving over the entire year. Many unexpected costs come up in the month of December and you don’t want to have to worry about also funding Christmas. Even I f you save $50 a month from January through December, you’ll have $600 in your Christmas fund! That’s a good chunk of change by the end of the year!
Things We Bought
As far as gifts go, I think we bought really meaningful gifts this year for the people we love while not going over the top. Jacob and I each spent $45 on each other for a meaningful and practical gift. We got our parents things that they will enjoy, and got our siblings things that would mean a lot to them and they could put to good use. We didn’t buy things just to buy things, but we really thought about how we could show all these people that they are loved and cared for through the giving of smaller gifts. Getting something small and purposeful will always mean more to someone than a random gift you didn’t want to spend money on in the first place.
Be purposeful and meaningful with your shopping and giving. Don’t spend just because you feel like you need to spend. And show people love this Christmas season.