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imthatgirl
09-22-2008, 01:19 PM
*im not asking what everyone spends, thats personal and varies of course by person.*

im curious how everyone comes up with their budget?

this will be our first year that we really have to budget and i dont really know where to start. i have 3 kids, but i dont necessarily need to spend the exact amount on each, they dont know price of things yet.

so do you figure out first how mnay things you want to buy them and go from there? do you first figure a dollar amount per kid and then borrow from one kid to the next? or do you have another way of doing it?

and how about others? how do you decide, when youre on a budget, what is a good amount to get for extended family?

mommy-on-the-move
09-22-2008, 01:22 PM
We tend to brainstorm for ideas on what we'd like to get each kid, then sit down and look at what that's all going to cost and then we start to decide which items are going to be realistic and what small additional gifts we want to add in their.

We also set a figure per niece/nephew etc

swald91
09-22-2008, 02:51 PM
We never budget-we just say this is what we have and no credit card use! My kids usually have saved $$ from b-days, holidays-etc and they spend their $$ on themselves-toys or gifts for friends. This past trip was our 1st w/ Free dining & that was great for us! Spent alot less & we don't normally buy stuff for others. Maybe something here or there for ourselves or special gifts. I know we spent more w/o the dining plan in the past. But I think, like you said, everyone spends different. It would be interesting to see what others do budget!

imthatgirl
09-22-2008, 02:55 PM
We never budget-we just say this is what we have and no credit card use! My kids usually have saved $$ from b-days, holidays-etc and they spend their $$ on themselves-toys or gifts for friends. This past trip was our 1st w/ Free dining & that was great for us! Spent alot less & we don't normally buy stuff for others. Maybe something here or there for ourselves or special gifts. I know we spent more w/o the dining plan in the past. But I think, like you said, everyone spends different. It would be interesting to see what others do budget!

:lmao: you make your kids buy their won xmas presents, what kind of parent are you:lmao:

just to clarify i was asking how people budget for xmas. :rotfl:

daleswife
09-22-2008, 03:07 PM
I dont know how we are gonna budget for christmas this year!!!! Reason??? I dont have a clue what to get my kids!!!! DD is 5 and out of dora and into princesses but not really, ya know what I mean??? And my DS 1 dont even know where to start with him.....AAAAHHHHHHH

swald91
09-22-2008, 03:09 PM
:lmao: you make your kids buy their won xmas presents, what kind of parent are you:lmao:

just to clarify i was asking how people budget for xmas. :rotfl:

no no no! :lmao: When they want to get gifts for their friends-they use their own $$!! We buy them too much to begin with!!!! I personally think the trip alone is a great gift-but I think my kids just don't appreciate what we do for them. I would love to go for Christmas-actually be there- but it is so expensive. So maybe if more posters state their budgets-it might be do-able for us. We are thinking about Jan. but $$ is definitely an issue. I always say that next trip no spending on Disney souvenirs-ha! (I'm the biggest rule breaker!!! hahahaha)

imthatgirl
09-22-2008, 03:10 PM
I dont know how we are gonna budget for christmas this year!!!! Reason??? I dont have a clue what to get my kids!!!! DD is 5 and out of dora and into princesses but not really, ya know what I mean??? And my DS 1 dont even know where to start with him.....AAAAHHHHHHH

5 was a tough age with my daughter as well. she still liked the princesses, but not enough that i wanted to get her things that she was just about to grow out of.
i remember getting her a lot of fake jewelry, fake make up, a pocket book(this was a huge hit) we got her a DS. but yeah that was a tough year.

imthatgirl
09-22-2008, 03:11 PM
no no no! :lmao: When they want to get gifts for their friends-they use their own $$!! We buy them too much to begin with!!!! I personally think the trip alone is a great gift-but I think my kids just don't appreciate what we do for them. I would love to go for Christmas-actually be there- but it is so expensive. So maybe if more posters state their budgets-it might be do-able for us. We are thinking about Jan. but $$ is definitely an issue. I always say that next trip no spending on Disney souvenirs-ha! (I'm the biggest rule breaker!!! hahahaha)

no, no. we arent going to disney for xmas...wish i was. like you we just got back. actually i think we were there the same week.
im just trying to get through xmas this year!

swald91
09-22-2008, 03:16 PM
Forgot to mention...while on the free dining plan I really wanted to save those receipts & total it all-just to get an idea, but never did! I still have them but it's kinda depressing looking at them now. My kids are SO tough to buy for. They are 12-daughter & 8-son. (I need to convince my husband that a trip to Disney would be the best gift for all of us!!!!!!!!)

daleswife
09-22-2008, 03:17 PM
sorry, hit wrong button......

swald91
09-22-2008, 03:20 PM
no, no. we arent going to disney for xmas...wish i was. like you we just got back. actually i think we were there the same week.
im just trying to get through xmas this year!

Sorry, thought you were talking about a trip to Disney! Before my kids were born I used to be done shopping by Halloween!! I used to do a little at a time-so it's tough to have a budget. But, that was then...:goodvibes

jlparedes
09-22-2008, 03:27 PM
Oh gosh, typically we get out of control at xmas. Two years ago I started a budget and say I will spend XX amount on each person I buy for. I also start shopping the year before the next xmas (yes I'm one of those people LOL) so that I'm not scrambling around at xmas time.

This year, I may not be working full time so I let my family know that if they are over 18 uears old, they will not be getting gifts from us and to please only shop for the kids this year....I will shop for DH, but we just get a few little things for each other.

imthatgirl
09-22-2008, 03:49 PM
Sorry, thought you were talking about a trip to Disney! Before my kids were born I used to be done shopping by Halloween!! I used to do a little at a time-so it's tough to have a budget. But, that was then...:goodvibes

guess you always have disney on the brain. youre not alone;)

LadyShea
09-22-2008, 03:50 PM
We went around to all the extendeds and got everyone to agree (happily) to only buy for the kids, and even then to limit things to one gift per kid from each family!

It was seriously getting out of control...no fun at all to go into debt to basically exchange money, because gift cards are so easy it seems everyone had started getting them.

adoptionmomma4
09-22-2008, 03:57 PM
I have 4 kids ages 3,7,9 and 11 and they are soooo hard to buy for. What do you get a kid who has everything? I have never had a budget for Christmas and I ALWAYS went way over board. On Katie’s first Christmas she was 10 months old. She was still opening boxes of Christmas toys on her first birthday in February. That same Christmas my older kids got almost 70 (yes you read that right 70 :scared1:) gifts by the time they got gifts from both families and friends. Two years ago we had a new foster child placed in our home in September. At Christmas time my oldest DD told her "your going ot love Christmas here, we get so many gifts my mom has to move the furniture!" :lmao:

Last year I started something different because Christmas was getting out of control. We are getting them 3 gifts because that is what the baby Jesus received. I will also fill a stocking for each of them. I do not have a dollar amount for each child because that is way to hard. I do however try to make it as equal as possible. I do not buy them clothes for gifts. We also buy family gifts. Last year we got a Wii and board games. This year we are getting a new laptop. I will admit it was hard to stick to my first year and I did go over the limit a little. This year I will do better and try to stick to the limit. My DH thinks I am trying to cheat the system because I got DD 3 a dollhouse and I am calling the house and all accessories 1 gift. :)

My mom and brother contribute money to the kids’ college savings plans for holidays and birthdays. My MIL still just buys to buy, but I am working on her. I want her to contribute to the college account as well.

Good luck. It is so hard to try to be fair to everyone.

CrAzY4DL
09-22-2008, 06:01 PM
For the past 2 years, we have mainly not budgeted an amount, per se, per child but X amount of presents. My oldest daughter (now 9!) would make a list, I would get what I want and then send the rest of the list on to family members. Younger DD (now 5!!!!) would just walk down toy aisles at Target pointing at everything so I would make her a list (edited of course!). If older daughter got 10 presents to open, younger daughter got 10 presents to open with more money usually being spent on older DD because old kids = pricier stuff, haha. This year, I am budgeting $100 for each kid and it's mostly because we just have toooooo much stuff. I know people SAY that but seriously, my kids have too much stuff!!! 90% of their toys are shoved in our "dirty room" (hee hee that sounds nasty!!! it's the storage bedroom but kids call it the dirty room *** it is CHOCK FULL of stuff!!!) so I am really not into buying more. My parents got them a Wii for this Christmas, so I figure I will buy them each 1 Wii game and then spend $50 on whatever is on their list and they each ask Santa for ONE thing (we do this every year. I'm not letting Santa get all the credit for my shopping!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA). Me and the girls are getting annual passes to Disneyland in October, instead of $50 worth of stuff I might just take them to DL for a few days during break. Who knows?! Hmm!!!
But, that's how I budget. Usually it ends up being somewhere between $150 and $300 per kid and I'm just so over that. Now, every year we spend $50 per parent (2 moms, 2 dads) and we have 2 nieces and I spend $25 per niece at Christmas. This year I am just combining it and getting them a VSmile. Their mom (my BFF) is just like us-overwhelmed with the stuff!!!

MoniqueU
09-22-2008, 06:40 PM
I get their christmas lists way early, this year in June I think it was and start buying what is on their list. They have so much already the lists aren't that long. My DD 10 wanted a laptop so I picked that up at a good price and then picked up another one somewhere else for my DS at an even better price with more stuff included. I got pretty much every video game my DS wanted and the same with my youngest DD. My oldest dd is the killer. I can't even come close to figuring out the kinds of clothes she wants. I will go to the stores she likes, buy something there and it is never the right thing. So I cashed in all my amex points and she is getting 300 for her birthday plus a digital camera with HD for her birthday. For christmas I wrapped a bunch of little burts bees stuff with more gift certificates in the wrapping. So she will be sitting under the tree thinking she didnt get very much and it will turn out she got tons of gift certificates. It helps that we get a christmas bonus in December to help with all the stocing stuffers, the tree, massive amounts of food etc.
I just bought my husband one thing a sony hd player.

My mom and my MIL are about 200 bucks mostly because I have no clue what else to get them, I usually spend more.
I have no neices or nephews to buy for and don't exchange with the aunts and uncles. That leaves my grandma who just likes pictures of the kids, pretty simple. I do need to get started on taking some pictures of my kids but they are past the age of wearing coordinating outfits or even colors so this is going to be tough.

santa's surpriz
09-22-2008, 07:38 PM
I don't work out much of a budget...I buy one gift for my daughter every payday starting August-September. It's usually a clearance item. So by Christmas I usually have more than enough. My parents know that I am single and money is tight so they do not expect anything, I stopped buying gifts for the rest of my family years ago. No one ever appreciated what they got so we decided to stop wasting our money. We pick a charity each year and collect donations instead.

eeyoremate123
09-22-2008, 07:57 PM
:santa: :love: I have no idea what yo get my kids either!! what should i do???

ALittleDisneyFan
09-22-2008, 08:56 PM
This will be our first year shopping for our DD at Christmas (she was not home the past 2 yrs). I have no idea how to budget for her. To be perfectly honest, we have our trip 2ish wks before Christmas which will make things a tad more tight... especially when our extended families keep growing! It's overwhelming. Altogether we have 7 nieces/nephews to shop for.. I am not looking forward to it!

ybertrand
09-23-2008, 08:52 AM
I have 2 boys, ages 8 & 4, and I typically start with their wish lists and work backwards from there. Each boy typically gets 10 presents total, from Santa and us. I know this sounds like a lot but some of the presents are cheap little things, hot wheels, small action figures, etc. They typically get one "big" gift each.

Thankfully as an entire we family we dicided not to buy for extended family anymore a couple of years ago. My husband is the baby of 6 and I am an only child but have more cousins than I can count that we used to shop for. We now only buy for the grandparents and I do one of 2 things every year. I scrapbook a calender for the next year or I make a book from one of the many online photo shops with pictures of my boys throughout the year. Both have been a big hit. These gifts typically only cost me about $30 each.

imthatgirl
09-23-2008, 09:10 AM
I have 2 boys, ages 8 & 4, and I typically start with their wish lists and work backwards from there. Each boy typically gets 10 presents total, from Santa and us. I know this sounds like a lot but some of the presents are cheap little things, hot wheels, small action figures, etc. They typically get one "big" gift each.

Thankfully as an entire we family we dicided not to buy for extended family anymore a couple of years ago. My husband is the baby of 6 and I am an only child but have more cousins than I can count that we used to shop for. We now only buy for the grandparents and I do one of 2 things every year. I scrapbook a calender for the next year or I make a book from one of the many online photo shops with pictures of my boys throughout the year. Both have been a big hit. These gifts typically only cost me about $30 each.

10...no that doesnt sound like a lot. i have 3 kids. i would like to keep it at 10. the last couple years was just too much. last year each kid got around 25-30 things each. and then they have 8 aunts and uncles who each get them something. 2 sets of grandparents. 1 great grandmother and 2 great aunts. so in all each kid ended up with about 40 things.

i told my husband this year i would actually like to keep it around 15 a kid. im not looking to cut it completely back. i commend those who give only 3 gifts, but thats just not our thing. we love the huge xmas with piles of presents under the tree.

adoptionmomma4
09-23-2008, 09:23 AM
i told my husband this year i would actually like to keep it around 15 a kid. im not looking to cut it completely back. i commend those who give only 3 gifts, but thats just not our thing. we love the huge xmas with piles of presents under the tree.

I didn’t think I would like only 3 gift either. I did go over my limit last year and it was more like 8ish :confused3 This year I am going to try to stick to 3. It is a little different when the 3 gifts cost twice what the piles and piles used to. :) Last year my DD’s list was a pink digital camera, new cell phone and an ipod "with the docking station if it was not to much" :) She didn’t get a new cell phone (she got a new one in September) but it is first on her list this year. My older 3 kids have their lists on the refrigerator already. I guess they are excited! If I buy them 3 gifts plus stocking stuffers they still end up with 20+ gifts to open.

dreamer17555
09-23-2008, 09:44 AM
I am done with our X-mas shopping for the kids.

The rule in our home is you may ask Santa for 3 gifts. Yup 3. Of course if the gift is insanely expensive Santa might just bring one big gift but we haven't come across that yet. By the time it is all said and done (gifts from us as well as Santa- stocking stuffers, ect) This year my DD will have 10 gifts and it cost us about $100. I love Amazon.

Our Son is getting fewer toys (though he is getting his own table and chairs set from Santa) but he has so many we were running out of ideas. He will get two toys from us and a bunch of clothes which is fine since right now he just loves the wrapping paper. His cost was at $100 too.

Both my parents (seperately- they are divorced) and my PILs (Together) will fill in any gaps (actually overfill IMO). Generally I send off a list to my Dad of stuff I know Cat and James would love and again I heart Amazon. He lives in Texas and just has the gifts sent directly to us. I wrap them and put them under the tree from him.

Really my DD doesn't play with her toys that much. She loves to read and dance so most of her stuff is geared towards music (an Mp3 Player) or reading (ie. a magazine sub to American Girl). Both of my children have birthdays at the end of January, beginning of Feb (so does DH) so we try not to go overboard at Xmas and I know that if they are really disappointed in not getting something that I can get it for their birthday. (I will sadly admit that I am obviously OCD and have most of their B-day shopping done- save room for one extra gift)

We do buy for all the small extended children (8 in total) in DH family- we normally spend about $10 on each and I love to give books. I am not sure if the kids love em but the parents sure do. Plus with all the little junk they get I hate to add to it.

For my parents and DH parents we spend about $30 on each and then $20 on each of DH's three brothers and my step sister.

So where down the line we pick up gifts for ourselves (like Santa is bringing me Legally Blonde tickets) but we try not to get crazy about it. Normally my family (grandparents, Dad, ect) send us Cash and we use that to get us our Christmas presents.

Curious how much do you spend on your SO?

-Becca-

imthatgirl
09-23-2008, 09:58 AM
I

Curious how much do you spend on your SO?

-Becca-

im assuming this is to everyone so ill answer for my family.

my husbadn and i exchange gifts randomly. this year for example as of now i dont see us buying each other a gift. basically the rule is no gifts between us, xmas is for the kids. but if theres something one of us really wants its a good chance the other will buy it. although it seems we never seem to buy each other gifts the same year, lol.
one year i really wanted to get him patriots tickets, i probably spent close to $1000 for the 2 tickets.
there was the year i needed a new camera. he bought me my dream camera. he probably spent upwards of $1000.

we dont just give gifts to give gifts. and its great because its always a surprise.

LadyShea
09-23-2008, 10:48 AM
Curious how much do you spend on your SO?

The second year of our marriage, we decided to buy something for "us" rather than exchange gifts. The first few years we bought electronics and furniture and stuff needed for our house mostly, and in the ensuing years have gone on trips, to see shows (we lived in Vegas), upgraded electronics, or otherwise jointly decided what our gift to ourselves would be.

17 years later we have not regretted that at all and still do not exchange gifts at Christmas :)

princesspiglet
09-23-2008, 12:54 PM
It may be a little different for us since we only have one child, but we go kind of hog wild at Christmas. DD only gets gifts/toys twice a year- once on her birthday and once at Christmas. We don't just randomly buy her a barbie at Target, she has to wait for a holiday. She also gets an allowance for chores so she can choose to buy toys with her money.

Anyway, we have a Christmas Club set up year round that I put $100 a month in, so by Dec 1 I have $1200 to spend. I spend $100 on each set of parents, $100 for each of her 2 teachers, $100 to be divided amongest various others such as my stylist, the newspaper boy, etc. I spend about $50 on a gift exchange at work and about $100 on DH. That leaves me with what I can spend on DD- about $550. I then go through her list and buy her one "big ticket" item. Last year it was a Wii and this year it will probably be a My Twin doll with accessories. I then buy as many little things on her list as possible until I reach my limit. It there are still items on the list, they are bought by the grandparents and my brother. She usually gets everything on the list and more. But, they will be lasting for the whole year!

rt2dz
09-23-2008, 02:04 PM
First let me recommend this (http://www.youneedabudget.com) website. It teaches you how to truly budget—you know, living on last month’s income and flagging every last dollar. The software is worth every last penny, but there is a ton of free advice/tools on there. It works equally as well for those with big incomes as those with little incomes.

We set aside some of our money for Christmas every month of the year. We then have the kids make a Christmas wish list. They also pick what they want most of all. They always get there #1 pick, whether it is from us, grandparents, etc, provided it is within reason.

We do not spend an equal amount on each child—their wants do not equal the same amount. We could spend more on 3 items for our oldest (who has just crossed that bridge of wants) than 15 items for our youngest. We also do not count presents so they get the same number. However, from Mom and Dad, wrapped and under the tree, is the same number; Santa isn’t as “equal”. Of course, there isn’t a huge divide either, and having all boys close in age most, but not all, things are shared anyhow. My boys aren’t really that possessive.

We just make sure that each child gets their number one wish list item and then a few extras. Many times the extras are things they need anyhow or accessories to the thing they wanted most. I always get a few books and puzzles in there too. Oh, and dollar store items for the stocking. We don’t go way overboard on Christmas gifts and focus more on the other aspects of the season. Family get them so much anyhow—you can’t control what others do and it is tacky to even try, so I just trim the fat at my house.

As far as spending on each other (DH and I), we don’t. I just don’t see the point. We do exchange cards. As far as spending on other family members, no more than $20 per niece and nephew. DH and I don’t spend on our siblings and get a token gift from the kids/all of us for our parents—DH’s parents never appreciate anything and my parents have everything.

natnelliesmom
09-23-2008, 06:09 PM
We don't do a budget plan for the holidays- it would be too difficult to stick to since I like to get a gift that is perfect for each person.
I can relate to the posters who talk about too much stuff! I hate that the holiday has turned into a gimme fest! I like to keep the focus on family togetherness and the spirit of the season. It's tough to do that though- when my DDs are the only grandchildren on both sides of the family!!!! We have been overwhelmed by the gifts in years past. When we finally got to my MIL's house on Christmas Day my then DD2 refused to open any more presents and burst into tears. It was just too much for her. It doesn't help us any that we have DD3's birthday in Nov., and DD5's and DH's birthdays in December!!!
I really put the brakes on the gift giving. I told my family and DH's family that they were limited to meaningful and appropriate gifts. It took them a little practice to get the hang of it- but last year was a HUGE improvement.
Two years ago I stopped buying gifts for anyone other than my DH and DDs. Except for a few perfect gifts for special people. I felt like the gifts had lost their meaning when they were just given because of obligation.
We are very lucky to come from well-to-do families who never have to worry about money. If they need something or want something- they just go and buy it. Holidays were just silly- no one really wanted anything- but we all gave each other "stuff" anyway.
So I started something different.
We adopt a needy family through out town's social services department. We get their wish lists and suggestions of things they need from the social worker. Then my DH, and two DDs and I shop together as a family and choose special things to make this family's holiday wonderful! Last year we had a family of 3- the mother was dying of cancer and this would be her last Christmas. They had too many medical bills to be able to have a Christmas. There was an 8 year old daughter. We did everything we could to make it special for them. A new camera, board games, DVD player, DVDs to watch as a family, plus a new coat and boots for Dad. A new bike for the little girl and all the toys on her wish list. For mom we purchased a new bedding set so she could snuggle up with her family and a cashmere blanket to wrap around herself. It made us feel good to do something so nice for someone who needed it more than we did. We also put together a Christmas dinner basket with all the fixings and a gift card to our local grocery so they have it to purchase any extras.
Before we delivered all the gifts to the social services office- we piled them all up and took a picture. Then I blew it up to 8x10 and mounted it on a poster board. I wrapped two of these signs and gave them as a gift to my family and DH's family along with the information about the family. They were able to see what the money we would have spent needlessly on them- could do for others.
After Christmas we got a wonderful thank you card from the family. Everything is kept confidential- but the social workers correspond back and forth.
It was wonderful. We think our DDs get more out of that experience than spending days tromping through the malls trying to find something that Grandma doesn't already have!
-Sarah