We just started using sinking funds this month, but we don’t have one for Christmas. I am not sure we are going to make one for that category especially this year or even next. We probably won’t make one for that category until we have kids. Right now it’s just the two of us and we don’t spend a whole lot on Christmas.
We don’t buy presents for anyone on my side of the family. Joe has a pretty big family (that’s only getting bigger) that we are extremely close to. The last couple years we have drawn names for the siblings and there is a $50 limit. We will get something for his parents, sometimes it’s a joint gift making it not as costly and we get little gifts for our nephews (and niece when she makes her appearance). Our nephews ages are 3, 18 months, 2 weeks and our first niece will be born at the end of November. But they are happy with whatever we give them. Right now they love books, puzzles and monster trucks – all pretty inexpensive gifts and we already have one for our oldest nephew we got on roll back a month ago and we bought a book each for the two babes. Joe and I also don’t get each other Christmas gifts (or birthday gifts either). We like to save that money and use it on a trip or put it towards a goal we are working on. We do pick out one new ornament every year together. This year we already got our ornament on our honeymoon. We also might surprise each other with something little like under $20 and it’s usually something we need, but don’t want to buy for ourselves. In past years it’s been new work socks, phone chargers, travel coffee mugs.
Besides getting a real tree, we also don’t spend money on decorations. 1. Because we don’t want to spend the money on that right now and 2. Because I’d rather wait until we have a house and know what kind of space we will have before purchasing decorations. Although this year we are talking about buying a nativity scene to go under the tree. We both had one growing up. This is our first Christmas married and I am also going through RCIA right now to become a member of the catholic church (I married a catholic boy and we want to raise our kids in that faith). I think a nativity scene would be something special. The tree however is a tradition we won’t give up. It started the night we got engaged. We were on our way to get our first Christmas tree together and right before we left the house Joe proposed to me in our apartment. We then went to Ted Drewes to pick our tree and spent the night decorating it. We usually get a 6ft balsam and they cost about $50.
I do really enjoy cooking during the holidays, especially baking. When I was on BS2 as Christmas gifts I made about 10 different varieties of cookies and bought tins from the dollar store and gave those as Christmas presents. I would much rather spend extra money on food during the holidays than material items.
All in all Christmas won’t be that expensive for us at least not this year and we would rather put money into a personal property tax sinking fund for taxes that will be due in December. We are estimating needing about $600. Merry Christmas to use we get to pay to own our two vehicles.
How do you prepare for Christmas expenses?