It’s that time of year again! The best of times and sometimes the worst of times, financially speaking. Christmas. And more specifically: Christmas Budget time!
This post is really about the financial impact of Christmas on the everyday American—specifically me, a financial coach. Even though I’m not a perfect example of budgeting, Christmas is an area and sought to hone and sharpen more and more each year.
But this time of the year hasn’t always been stress-free for us. We used to put Christmas on our credit card which would mean that January was particularly difficult as we had to pay for our regular expenses AND pay off our credit card!
Thankfully, beginning back when we were financial coaching clients, we began to save monthly for Christmas in an account we can our “Annual Expense Account.” Now Christmas is not a burden!
About 4 years ago, we opted for a simpler Christmas. Instead of everyone buying for everyone else (which would be an ever-increasing burden), we now draw names among the adults. So each person in our immediate family buys for only one other person. And of course, we can ALL buy for the grandgirls! I mean, we’re not Ebenezers!
So here is our Christmas budget:
Filling 14 Christmas stockings
(8 adults, 3 children, 4 fur babies and because Santa comes to our house)
- $25/each = $350 (the pets’ will be significantly lower than this, but $25 is a good budget amount)
- Places of purchase: Dollar Tree (seriously!) and Aldi for pet treats and toys, advent calendar (Glossybox) for women – each will get to open certain days, novelty tees for men (Kohls), Costco for edible stocking stuffers
Family Gift Exchange: 1 gift X 2 @ $50 = $100
(for me and my husband to give)
- Hubby, a woodworker, is building a special something for his person for under $50
- I am referencing the Amazon list of the person I’m buying for. While we did get rid of our Amazon Prime a few months ago (read post here), we can still order for free shipping as long as our order is $25 or more.
1 gift each for 3 grandgirls: $50/each = $150
- I like to start looking early, so these were purchased in September and were a part of the monthly cash flow plan
- I watched YouTube videos for ideas for older parents.
Work/Misc gifts: baked gifts this year
$100 total for baking supplies and packaging
- Hubby makes an incredible pecan pie.
- I’ve been accumulating baking ingredients and am looking forward to baking!
- We have a separate already-funded savings account for charitable giving in 2021.
- We plan to set aside $10, $15, or more per month in 2022 for giving next year
- Giving is AMAZING!
So the grand total is $800!
Christmas is a part of our Annual Expense Funding, so we save for this all year. If we raise our budget in 2022 to $1000, that’s about $85/month.
Whether your budget is leaner or more expense-filled, saving in an annual expense account for Christmas is important. StoreHouse Financial coaches can help you learn how! Contact us here.