How We’re Spending Christmas 2014


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How We're Spending Christmas

It’s less than a week until Christmas! I can’t believe it. And if I’m being perfectly honest, I haven’t been feeling very festive this year. I love me some Christmas, but the move kind of kind of ruined my holiday mojo. For instance, Johnny and I hadn’t done an ounce of Christmas shopping up until Monday. And then we did ALL OF IT — online, mind you — Monday morning and Monday night. This entire week has found me weighing the pros and cons of leaving the apartment for fear I’ll miss a delivery.

But I’m really hoping to be feeling a bit more holiday cheer in the next few days, and luckily we now live in the perfect place to make that happen! So far we’ve seen the Rockefeller tree, the Madison Square Park tree, and the origami tree at the Museum of Natural History. And I’m hoping we can fit in the following activities this weekend:

If that doesn’t get our little family in the Christmas spirit, I don’t know what will. And it’s all free, which is welcome news after what moving did to our budget this month.

Our Christmas gift budget this year for Johnny, Sally, and me went as follows:

  • Johnny: $250
  • Joanna: $250
  • Sally: $100

So that brought the grand total to $600, which, when you’re buying everything online in one day, feels like a lot. And that’s not to mention all the family gifts we bought, too! But Christmas comes at a good time since we’ve somehow neglected to buy ourselves clothes almost all of 2014. That isn’t to mean we’ve been gradually becoming more nude over the year, but our clothes could definitely use a facelift! One of Sally’s big gifts this year is a toddler-sized shopping cart, which she found in our room a few days ago. It took us hours to pry it from her fingers. But she’s still been asking about it every day! We’ll have a very happy camper come Christmas morning.

I wasn’t organized enough to figure out Christmas cards this year, which saved us some money. And we were also able to use airline miles to visit family for Christmas. It’ll be our last time Sally flies free! Anyway, that’s how our Christmas financials are shaping up. Happy weekend before Christmas, everyone! How is your Christmas budget faring this year?

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14 Comments

  • Reply Mrs. Frugalwoods December 19, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Merry Christmas! I loved walking around looking at all of the window displays and trees when we lived in NYC. It’s truly a beautiful place this time of year! We’re almost done with our Christmas shopping and I’ve been able to get everything so far through Amazon using our cash back points, so it’s been free! Helps too that Mr. Frugalwoods and I aren’t exchanging gifts (just love :) ).

  • Reply Gretchen December 19, 2014 at 8:26 am

    We only spent about $300 on Christmas, but we have debt. Also, I haven’t bought any clothes since I had Baby RB40 (she’s 14 months old now :-) and I was starting to look more than a little unprofessional at work, so I spent about $300 in November and bought a virtually new work wardrobe. Very few of my old clothes fit, so I’m feeling much more confident now! Hopefully you can squeeze in those last few activities, though. NYC at Christmastime is on my bucket list, so I’m super jealous!

  • Reply Little House December 19, 2014 at 9:39 am

    This year, we cut back a bit on family shopping and didn’t have to buy as many presents. We finished everything yesterday…what a relief! Now it’s time to get into the holiday mood (today is my last teaching day for 3 weeks. Yippee!) Time to celebrate!

  • Reply Becky @ RunFunDone December 19, 2014 at 9:53 am

    We always do a $200 budget for each of us for Xmas. It’s a huge deal to us since that’s 3 months worth of spending money! I’m convinced that budgeting makes Xmas more fun for adults because it means that it’s actually super special to get gifts!

  • Reply Laura @ Rather Square December 19, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Will you be sharing what you buy each other with your gift budget? This year we are only doing gifts for the kids in our families, with a budget of $40 per kid. That may sound cheap, but there are 10 kids we are buying for, so it ends up being $400. I shop around for deals and coupons to maximize what I can get within that budget. And my husband and I are not buying any gifts for each other – we’d rather keep that money in savings for our house projects. Keeping a strict budget for holiday spending is important – it feels like it can snowball (no pun intended) so easily if we’re not keeping track!

  • Reply Miranda December 19, 2014 at 11:58 am

    We are almost done with Christmas shopping, but none of it is online this year. Blegh! We are also doing a weird gift exchange with our families. Heading to the thrift store this weekend to pick up something gloriously tacky, in fact. Have fun doing all of your Christmas activities. We’re staying indoors this year with eggnog and a gingerbread house competition. =)

  • Reply Halsy December 19, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    We did a weekend in NYC during December a few years ago and really enjoyed it! Sally will love the toy store! We have avoided flying since our oldest turned 2 this year! I just can’t justify it! We do $75 for each daughter…although we definitely didn’t spend that on our baby girl! Then $25 for each to get each other a present. Our oldest insisted her 7 month old sister just had to have the fisher price laugh and learn yellow chair so they could sit together…even though I’m pretty sure baby sister won’t be able to use it for a couple months! My husband and I do $50 for each other and $25 for girls to get each of us a gift.So that totals $350. As far as I know we have stayed on budget! We have stayed on budget for all our family too! Lots of coupons and promo codes used!

  • Reply Melody December 19, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    I did almost all my Christmas shopping (and birthday shopping–my siblings and I have three consecutive December birthdays) on Etsy this year. Some great deals and unique gifts!

  • Reply Rob December 19, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Merry Christmas guys! Joanna, I love the pics that you are posting in your blog these days. Sally looks so cute. Happy to see that you folks are settling in ok in your new home.

    Our budget is doing ok this year, with one “little” surprise that I could have done without – just received a notice from our Canadian tax guys informing me that my 2012 tax return got re-assessed and that I owe them some more $$$ ( due to some missing income slips) – grrrrr! What a bummer!
    I can pay it with no problem but the timing of this notice (ie., just before Christmas) could have been better. Oh well, a lump of coal (from Santa) to those tax grabbing bureaucrats! :-)

  • Reply Brittany @ Fun on a Budget Blog December 20, 2014 at 8:48 am

    This Christmas has been one of my cheapest yet, which keeps making me worry that I forgetting someone 😉 I love the way you guys are taking advantage of all free Christmas awesomeness in your new place!

  • Reply Melanie December 22, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I finally kept track of all my Christmas shopping costs this year and it looks like I spent between $400-$450 for ALL my gifts this year-yay! Redeeming credit card point for gift cards saved me about $125 in shopping costs this year. I even bought some gifts off a giving tree for some people our Church sponsored this year, which felt good. Otherwise, having a small family pays off this time of year. :)

    • Reply Melanie December 23, 2014 at 8:31 am

      Confession: I added it all up yesterday and it was about $525. Im still proud! :)

      • Reply Joanna January 7, 2015 at 11:14 pm

        Well done! Keeping track of Christmas spending is no small feat!

  • Reply Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank December 22, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    I’m still sticking to my $200 dollar budget. And, I am still catching up with my lists and looking for sales out there. More importantly, I am giving some gift cards for presents. 😀 cool way to be frugal this holiday.

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