Thursday October 30, 2008 Talkback Question:

Photo by Mannaquin

Have you saved any money towards your 2008 holiday shopping? If not, how do you plan to pay for your purchases?

*I've set aside $500 to pay for all of my holiday gifts. This includes gifts for my immediate family and close friends. *

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  1. Anonymous // October 30, 2008 at 8:31 AM  

    I'm not thinking about shopping for presents yet. I'm thinking about what to wear and how much that will cost :-)

  2. gaga // October 30, 2008 at 8:35 AM  

    I did not save for my Christmas shopping this year hoever for the first time in my life I did increase my DO NOT TOUCH emergency savings to 5 months of living expenses so I'm not a total loser. I had two very unexpected, unavoidable expenses this year totaling $7,200 on my lowest interest card and need to wipe that clean before I charge anything. And, like everyone else, I have recently lost a chunk of my 401(k). So it will be a leaner Christmas than usual.

    I have both parents, two sisters and their husbands, and four nieces/nephews to shop for and this year yes I will cut back a little in my budget. I am dealing with it by starting early so I can buy one gift out of each paycheck between now and then. So far I have purchased for my parents and sisters/bils and did this on the internet via credit card where the balance will be paid off before December 1.

    For neighbors/my vet/miscellaneous friends I usually make candy or baked goods anyway and will do this again this year. And I will cut back in other ways as well. Since I will be spending Christmas with my family out of town I will not put up a tree. I will put one simple string of lights on the bush outside my front door and will not start burning it until December 15. I also have a tradition of buying myself a gift (I'm single with no kids) and this will not happen this year. I have all I could possibly need.

  3. Randall // October 30, 2008 at 9:41 AM  

    I haven't 'saved' any money, but we start buying presents a few months in advance, whenever we have a little extra from a paycheck. I use it before it goes somewhere else.

    My track record for savings isn't great, so everything goes out immediately to where it needs to go. That includes holiday gifts.

  4. Melanie // October 30, 2008 at 11:12 AM  

    Yes we did. We have a holiday account set up through our credit union. We put in one hundred a month for the course of the year. In November they will dump that money into our regular checking account and with that money I'll start Christmas shopping. It's such a relief to know that we have cash to spend on gifts this year.

  5. Anonymous // October 30, 2008 at 11:45 AM  

    Like most people, my husband gets paid biweekly so twice a year he gets 3 checks in one month.

    The second 3 check month is usually in Oct or Nov. We use that extra check to fund Christmas. So we are actually getting our Christmas money tomorrow! Yay.

  6. Anonymous // October 30, 2008 at 12:38 PM  

    Actually, our family decided last year to stop the insanity. We use our money for visiting and spending time with each other over the holidays, not for gifts. It's quite liberating.

  7. Kara // October 30, 2008 at 1:40 PM  

    My husband's side of the family is only doing stocking stuffers and a $20 individual charity contribution, so that's nice (shown here in detail). We haven't started saving for Christmas specifically yet, but we do have a place in our budget for gifts, so they should be covered that way. We only get gifts for my immediate family (and one per person), so that cuts back a lot.

  8. Anonymous // October 30, 2008 at 1:48 PM  

    haven't saved a penny for it...i think it may be time for another "Crafty Christmas!"

  9. Tiffanie // October 30, 2008 at 7:49 PM  

    i've saved a bit...doing gift baskets this year with homemade goodies in 'em so i don't have to save a lot. i lost my job, was on unemployment for 6 months, and just got a part time xmas is going to be frugal (yet yummy!) this year. which seems fine with our families! :) i've got about $300 saved for supplies and smaller gifts for friends and some toys for the kids in our family (my husband's brother and sister - ages 10 and 4.)

  10. Anonymous // October 30, 2008 at 11:07 PM  

    We've been so busy paying down debt, we didn't stop to consider saving for the holidays.

    But I have already done some shopping for my husband. I generally start looking during garage sale season. The only real problem with him is winnowing down his list to an affordable set of items.

    For myself, I have to figure out what it is I actually want, then we can sit down and figure out a fair budget for each of us. I think it may be around $100 each, since this is our first Christmas together. I do want to make a bit of a fuss.

    But a lot of my gifts will probably end up being homemade for anyone other than hubby.

  11. Corrie at "Cents"able Momma // October 31, 2008 at 8:35 AM  

    I have many nieces and nephews to buy both Christmas and birthday presents, so I calculate out a budget for the whole year and then divide it by 12. I put a monthly amount into my savings account, so I never have to pay for gifts "out of pocket".

    It's a planned expense, so I might as well save for it (plus, even with a small budget per person, it's about $100/month). It does include my hubby, kids, and I, as well as expenses for Christmas cards, teacher gifts, planned donations, etc.

  12. Anonymous // October 31, 2008 at 11:12 PM  

    We don't have any little children to shop for toys anymore ...
    I make quilts all year long, that I save for Christmas gifts for family.
    And Craig & I bake treats for all our friends and co-workers.
    Basically we spread this expense throughout the entire year.
    If my sons ever give me grandkids -
    I will have to start saving for the holidays again!!!

  13. Anonymous // November 1, 2008 at 11:45 AM  

    I'm going "FREE" to little spend shopping on Craigslist and eBay for everything. To fund the Christmas shopping, I have some household items listed on Craigslist. Whatever I get from them is what will fund Christmas (3 kids under the age of 8). Hey, it's new to them!

    I'm also helping other peeps as I started my Today's Budget Holiday Gift Card Giveaway today.