Curious...Paying for Christmas/Holidays

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Posted 12/6/2012 by MrsScrapDiva in NSBR Board
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MrsScrapDiva
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:31:10 PM
Just curious if others are willing to share how they handle this. From other posts here, it seems like gift giving is upward of $500 - $1000 if not more (multiple electronics, Legos, AG Dolls etc)

I am thinking about maybe starting a savings account in January 2013 and every month adding up to pay for gifts/expenses. This year we are guilty of charging (due to online shopping for better deals) and then we will pay it off in January.

Do you charge everything and then pay it off in January or with Tax Return?
Charge and pay it off all year?
Charge and not think about when it is going to get paid off?
Pay all cash out of savings?
Use a paycheck or bonus?
Layaway?
Christmas Club? (do they do this anymore?)
Buy a little at a time all year?

SweetPeasMom
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:33:25 PM
We save up. Most of the time it's last minute (Oct/Nov) when we start. But it has always worked out. Also, my largest checks tend to come in December. But we have decided starting in Jan, we will put away $50-$100 each week. This will include gifts but food, tree, etc.


Wendy



kmk1112
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:33:45 PM
My credit union still has Christmas club, and I do that for the bulk of what we spend at Christmas. The rest of it is small, and I just use my regular spending money.

dalayney
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:34:13 PM
I love love LOVE our christmas club account. Every paycheck, a certain amount gets put in, and December 1st, we take it out and pay for christmas. (presents, activities, parties, etc) Most banks, I think, still offer one. It makes life so much easier.

Miss Lerins Momma
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:36:41 PM
We save up, DH works as much overtime he can and everybit of that money goes towards Christmas. We usually don't have to put any on a credit card, but we did this year bc things are pretty tight.








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ribbonjunkie
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:37:33 PM
It's tough! I'm thinking next year I'm going to buy my girls one gift a month for 12 months. I can't believe I haven't thought of this before.



Compwalla
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:38:48 PM
I use my credit card for everything, all the time. I pay the balance every month. We used to use our debit card but they nixed the debit reward so we switched to the credit card. So we technically "charge" Christmas every year but I don't ever pay interest.

The way I save for Christmas expenses is holding my flexible spending claims until October every year. I file medical and child care claims in October and when I get the lump sum reimbursement, I use that money to cover the extra Christmas charges on the credit card as we make them. When my youngest gets too old for summer day camp we'll probably divert the money from the child care FSA to savings and cover Christmas that way.



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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:38:50 PM
We charge it to get the credit card points and then pay it off in January. We spend at the lower end of the spectrum, though, so it's not hard to pay it off all at once.


Janelle



gmcwife1
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:39:02 PM
Dh started Christmas shopping in August. We use our debit card so I guess you can say we save for it.


~ Dori ~

myshelly
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:43:39 PM
We pay all cash for Christmas. I start buying in August so we spread purchases out over 6 paychecks.



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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:43:55 PM
I use my credit union's Santa Saver Christmas Club.


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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:46:48 PM
I use all cash and spend less than $500.




Rhonda

SDeven
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:47:23 PM
Dh gets a bonus in January. We are lazy--we use a credit card and pay it off in January. It's less than $500...if we needed to pay for it without a credit card we could.






ScrapnMom2Four
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:47:28 PM
I usually buy gifts starting in August, and pay cash for them. The we finish up in December with our spending money.


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tedescokid
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:50:45 PM
I'm kinda of amazed at what gift giving happens according to this board. My kids must be seriously deprived. We spend maybe $250/kid on gifts - MAYBE. Probably closer to $200/kid. One "bigger" item and a few
smaller things.

Tonya

SuPeaNatural
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:51:54 PM
I try buy throughoput the year, but usually do the bulk in November. Cash for me.



Compwalla
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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:54:15 PM
I think how much is spent is partly due to how old the kids are. When mine were little I could spend $150 and fill up the room with toys. Now they are older and want fewer but more expensive things. My husband and I also still buy for each other/ourselves and socks, jocks, and chocolates doesn't cut it for me.


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Budletsmom

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Posted: 12/6/2012 3:58:53 PM
Put a little aside each month. I started shopping and finished early as well. We will use a credit card to get extra money back but pay it off in full each month like always.


Patti

maddiesmum
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:01:08 PM
I always pay cash for Christmas. I put aside a little in savings each month. It's so much easier than getting a big bill in January.

SmartyPants71
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:01:10 PM

I think how much is spent is partly due to how old the kids are.

Also partially depends on marital status. Since ds gets separate presents from me and ex, it just doesn't make sense to spend over $200. Plus, his grandparents are divorced as well, so he's getting double there also. He just doesn't need that much stuff!

Anyway, to answer the OP, I don't usually start shopping until after Thanksgiving, and I pay cash. I'm a total procrastinator.

writermom1
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:01:24 PM
We save all year. It's just automatically transferred into a separate account and we don't go crazy, so we really don't miss it.



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Sarah*H
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:01:31 PM
We use a credit card for anything purchased online and pay it off right away and cash for anything purchased in a brick and mortar store. Christmas is part of our annual budget so we have the money available when it rolls around every year.



*rosebud*
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:03:54 PM
We pay cash and do all of our shopping in December. My husband's job is chock full of overtime in December, and he gets paid weekly. We just do a bit of the shopping each week in December.

TREZmom
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:04:32 PM
We NEVER buy more than we can afford (we pay off credit cards right away and never use layaway). That is how I was raised and how I raise my kids. But I think starting a budget at the beginning of the year, sounds like an excellent idea.

lovetodigi
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:04:56 PM
We use some of DH's bonus for Christmas presents. We don't buy christmas presents on credit, unless it is something that we order online. Then we put it on American Express and pay it off when the bill comes.




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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:05:48 PM
We only buy what we can afford to pay for with our debit card. We have probably a smaller budget than most, at least according to this thread. Last year we had a REALLY small budget due to financial strain we had a the time, but we preferred fewer presents over going into debt for Christmas.


-Rachelle


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devildog
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:05:54 PM

I think how much is spent is partly due to how old the kids are. When mine were little I could spent $150 and fill up the room with toys. Now they are older and want fewer but more expensive things.


ITA.

We charge our presents and pay the bill in full when it comes in. We usually start shopping November 1, and probably finish by early to mid-December, so it gets broken down into at least 2 payments, or however many billing cycles run during the shopping season.



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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:08:47 PM
I do most of my shopping with my debit card and SO prefers to pay with cash. We don't use credit cards anymore.




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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:12:42 PM
I have a birthday and christmas in December, and my dd is pretty spoiled. We spend around $500 for both, though this year we also bought a Wii U and all the Skylanders stuff to go with. but that's a "family" gift, not necessarily just for dd. plus dh takes the week of dd's birthday/christmas off and we spend a lot of family time out and about, going to places like the zoo, movies, aquarium, etc, and THAT costs a lot too since we eat out that week as well.

Creativegirl
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:13:04 PM
We have a gift budget that we use throughout the year for birthdays and all other gifts. Whatever is left in there at the end of the year, we use.

After that, we just pay cash (well, we put everything on a credit card for the points but pay it off right away). We don't spend a crazy amount though so it's not too difficult to cover. Sometimes we'll shift some money over from savings then put it back in there the next paycheck or with the tax refund.


Anna




Nancie52
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:15:13 PM
i do most of it online , so it is charged... I will pay it off in January

ilovebuble
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:15:14 PM
I put a little cash away from each paycheck all year, charge for the rewards and pay it all off in January with the cash I saved.

lotsokids
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:15:25 PM
We have a seperate savings account-seperate from our regular savings and our other emergency fund savings-that is strictly for Christmas and vacations throughout the year. The account automatically gets $1000 transfered into it each month. We charge everything on the AmEx, so when we get the bill for Christmas, I just transfer the $$$ and pay off the bill.

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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:17:45 PM

We do the bulk of our shopping on-line. If a site takes PayPal then I use that. Otherwise, I'll put it on a credit card, but I never carry a balance. They are paid off each month as the bill comes in.

Any shopping in a store is usually cash - except for Belk (department store) and Ann Taylor. I use their branded cards just for the benefits I earn.









jennyap
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:18:00 PM

We have a gift budget that we use throughout the year for birthdays and all other gifts. Whatever is left in there at the end of the year, we use.


Same here. We don't spend a massive amount throughout the year, so what's left is usually enough to cover Christmas. We might spend a little extra but it's never so much we can't pay cash if we choose (but rather like Compwalla we put a lot of things on the CC which is paid off in full each month)


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asr70
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:27:10 PM
Some stuff is cash, some on the credit card. The credit card is paid down weekly. We rarely carry a balance on it, and if we do it is less than 2 months.

We aren't really buying big ticket stuff like I see on here though. I spent $200 -250 each on DH and DD, and DH spent about the same on me. My mom and my in-laws were another $100.




gmcwife1
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:27:44 PM

I'm kinda of amazed at what gift giving happens according to this board. My kids must be seriously deprived. We spend maybe $250/kid on gifts - MAYBE. Probably closer to $200/kid. One "bigger" item and a few
smaller things.




I doubt your kids are deprived

When I was a single parent my budget was much smaller, but I still started shopping in August One year my ds got a used game system, luckily it was also his favorite toy for many years.

We spend a lot more now because dh and I are both fully employed, dh is also retired from a previous job and we only have 1 child living at home. So we have a larger budget to spend.


~ Dori ~

jgpea
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:44:21 PM
just 3 of us, (DD is 17) and we usually buy what we want for ourselves throughout the whole year (which isn't too much)...

Christmas is normally one big purchase for the house (all of us)...hence, the new JCP leather sofa in the den...credit card, unfortunately...

Then we do very small gifts & stocking stuffers...SBUX gift cards, hickory farms, socks, pjs, stuff like that...there's no high dollar individual gifts in our home...

we all have our phones and share the laptop & tablet...all of which are not new; old ones work just fine...

were very simple...

plus college loom$ on the horizon...
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mythreeboys
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:49:39 PM
We contribute to a savings account each paycheque to ensure we have funds put away for things like birthdays, back to school expenses, Christmas, etc. Because of back to school, annual car insurance, a birthday & Christmas it's kind of depressing to see the balance fall so fast in the last 1/3 of the year, but we're thankful that we're able to have that savings to cover those expenses.

We ususally pay credit card to get the points, but then immediately pay it off with savings.

Christine



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MergeLeft
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Posted: 12/6/2012 5:07:57 PM
We tend to hold back in other discretionary areas (clothes, entertainment, eating out) during November/December and spend that money on gifts instead. We don't give extravagant gifts (no iPads here) so that's always been enough. This year, for the first time, DH got a nice Christmas bonus, but almost all of that is going in savings. We did spend some of it on Christmas.



cmpeter
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Posted: 12/6/2012 5:15:49 PM
It all goes on our Amex which is paid off monthly. It's built into our monthly budget.


Cindi

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Posted: 12/6/2012 5:16:11 PM
We pay with cash or debit cards. We use credit cards only for travel and do not carry a balance. We have 2 kids and several friends to shop for but we don't spend extravagantly. This year, I started a little earlier and spread the shopping out over a couple of months. DH gets a Christmas bonus that we sometimes dip into if we need extra money for gifts. Otherwise, that goes into savings.


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angievp
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Posted: 12/6/2012 5:21:27 PM
I save all year. My "personal" Christmas list is rather small, my work Christmas list is longer.

I start sort of thinking of the type of thing I'd like to give x person throughout the year, but the specific item never really gels until later in the year--which is why I don't buy throughout the year.

For example, with the Judge, I realized this year she likes "consumables" and "experiences" as gifts, rather than "things," so that was her "category." I didn't settle on the exact item until late this year (the gourmet popcorn).

That's sort of how I decide what to give each person. First determine the general category and then the specific item.

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Posted: 12/6/2012 5:27:11 PM
No credit cards here. We pay cash or use debit cards. We don't save for Christmas but I do purchase a little during the year if I find something perfect at a great price.

I'd like to save each month next year to make it easier


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Darkangel090260
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Posted: 12/6/2012 5:36:57 PM
Since we use christmas as a way to build our kids hope chest and tool boxes . I shop year around the two oldest have almost all the basic for a bedroom , kitchen and both have the start to a well stocked tool box. Youngest has basic lines and other basic.

I use debit and shop sale year around.


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Posted: 12/6/2012 5:43:06 PM
My husband has a savings plan at work that is matched by the company. Half of this is for Christmas.


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ADD_Housewife
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Posted: 12/6/2012 5:44:10 PM
I buy throughout the year and I have a seasonal job. Definitely all cash


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pudgy_groundhog
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Posted: 12/6/2012 5:50:23 PM
We save for it basically. We distribute our 401k contributions over the first 10-11 months so the last paychecks of the year have extra in them. As for actually paying for Christmas, as always, I charge everything I can so I accrue credit card points. I never carry a balance and pay everything in full, but I like getting the points (for instance, I always get gift cards with my cc points for teacher gifts).



S_cR_aP_Booker
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Posted: 12/6/2012 5:53:54 PM
I charge everything and then when the bill comes in I take it out of savings and pay off what I charged.

slkmommy
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 12/6/2012 5:57:31 PM
We normally buy everything outright cash. But this year a series of things kept sucking money so this year we will be using our cards and paying them in full in January.



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