A Canadian family's journey to financial independence

Christmas 2017 Budget – Forecast

Christmas 2017 Budget – Forecast

I have never really sat down and make an Official Christmas Budget. Since we do not tend to go overboard with gifts (at least, not what *I* consider overboard) I am not too concerned with the slightly higher costs of the season. We may end up investing slightly less the months our spending is higher, without going into debt. My side hustle picks up around now too, so if it does well then some of that money just pays for gifts and we don’t notice any change in the bottom line. It’s a great system.

Here is our best-guess budget. I have already bought some gift items, but these prices are what I am guessing the gift totals will generally be (even if some of this money has already been spent).

Mr & Mrs FNB (from kids) – $40 total
FNB1 – $100
FNB2 – $100
Dog – $30

My mom – $75
In-laws – $75
Family gift exchange recipients x 2 – $100 total
Nieces & Nephews x 4 – $120 total

Teacher gifts x 2 – $40 total
Daycare provider gift – $75
Work secret Santa gift – $5

Food (entertaining) – $150
Booze (entertaining) – $100

TOTAL: $945

Okay so that ended up being a bit higher than I thought it would! But perhaps not considering how many gifts we buy. And, now I have a challenge to come in under that number. A few thoughts:

  • I put a LOT of thought into what gifts I buy for people. I want them to be useful and meaningful. I don’t like to buy junk for the sake of having something to wrap. Now that we are making an effort to be more minimal, this means often buying more expensive things that will last (mostly with toys), but less of them.
  • Our children get a stocking with small items, a gift from Santa, and a gift from us. We don’t do the something they want/need, something to wear/read thing. The gift from us might include a few small items (such as books), or be one larger-ticket item. We do not buy tons of gifts for them though, and that is not simply out of frugality, but as an effort to be more minimal and keep them grounded. I have noticed that the more gifts they have to open at once, the less they tend to appreciate any one gift. When they have a ton of gifts they are also more likely to complain and be less thankful. I know they are still young (three and five) but, well, I simply don’t want to raise brats.
  • Mr. FNB and I exchanged gifts our first few Christmases, then stopped. Now we realize the kids want to give us a small gifts. So we buy each other something small (and useful!) to give “from the kids”. Or, sometimes we will work with the kids to make a gift. This year is still unplanned so I made a guess.
  • We tend to give experience gifts (e.g., restaurant/food gift cards) to our parents and our kids’ teachers/daycare providers. These numbers may seem high but we are super fortunate to have an amazing support network, so we do like to thank them at this time of year via splurges and a nice note.
  • We may or may not be hosting a small family even this year, I am not sure. But even if we don’t host we bring something potluck-style. These are probably high estimates.
  • Remember this is all in Canadian dollars 😉 .

I will post our actual Christmas spending after the holidays to see how close I was with this forecast.

Do these numbers seem high or low to you? Do you stick to a holiday budget?