November 9, 2010

So it begins, Christmas budgeting and planning

I can already hear Christmas music, but I love it. While living in the middle of nowhere, in the below freezing temperatures that last for way to long and snow literally to your eyeballs, it is a really warm holiday to look forward to. 

The last few years I have saved money monthly for Christmas and I have to say that it makes my life so much easier. I have a Christmas list saved on my computer, anytime I see something on tv or in a magazine I jot it down. It could be a decorating idea or a gift idea. When the kids think something is cool I have to type it down, because six months down the road I am not going to remember. Heck who am I foolin', two days down the road I am not going to remember. I may miss some ideas here and there, I am not a machine, but overall I get a good idea of what each person is going to get or what they want.

Being the math nerd that I am I have devised a formula on how to divvy up the money for this year. This is a good basis for me but it isn't set in stone. It just might make it easier so we don't overspend in one particular area.
20% for each of the kids equaling 60%
12.5% for us parents equaling 25%
15%  for everyone else (grandparents, friends, teachers and neighbors)

Okay, fifteen percent may seem low, but this year we are making goodies for everyone. I make really good fudge, if I say so myself. I also make haystacks and peanut butter blossoms. I think a homemade gift wrapped with care and a special card is a great way to appreciate the people in your life. We usually send a Harry and David or Wolfermans basket, this isn't much different and there should be something said about the time and effort that is involved in this type of present.

How do you allocate your Christmas money? Do you have a plan or just spend it 'til it's gone?