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November 26, 2008


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My budget this year is a $1000, but I want to come in under that. That is for presents and associated holiday costs like thanksgiving dinner, a christmas tree, wrapping paper and decorations etc. We tend to do most of our shopping this time of year, anything we want the rest of the year gets put on the christmas wishlist.

We're looking at keeping our spending at about $700 this year, last year was ridiculous at over 2k. I refuse use credit cards this year!

I don't know when Money did its survey, but I saw one reported yesterday that said people on average will spend under $500 this Christmas.

I've budgeted out $600 for gifts for my larger family (3 siblings, parents, grandparents, girlfriend, her parents etc.) and am hoping to spend $500 of that. Still need to shop for everyone!

Honestly it's depressing to think about but this year I am only purchasing gifts for those that have been a strong part of my life for the last year. I am trying to limit it to $500-600 but as we all know the more people you talk to on a daily basis the more people that will be offended by you not giving them a gift.

This year we sent an email to adult kids, as well as siblings and parents, asking they not send us gifts this year because we have all that we need. (I've been working to declutter all year!) Instead we asked them to make a donation to a local charity with the money they would have spent. We also said that we'd like to do the same and honor them by giving to others who are in need. So though we aren't spending a lot less, it is directed giving, and we won't have the wrapping and mailing expenses, etc.
We are also planning on sending out an e-letter instead of mailing one to our out of town friends.

My wife and I have been concentrating on spending down debt. We negotiated down a 4000 dollar consumer loan to $1100 [from an auto accident where my wife was upside down on her car 3 years ago], paying it off in Nov. Another $750 to $375. There is not much extra, so will go from about $800 last year to 300-400 this year.

We've cut our expenses back considerably this year. We'll be under $500 total. I've asked our family to not load up my kids as much because they don't need it. It's going to be a small Christmas, but it will still be fun. I'm focusing on re-directing my kids focus to the true meaning- Jesus' birthday.

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