With Christmas inching closer, errr today, I think a Christmas-related post is long overdue! 

My tree

And what would this blog be if I wouldn’t find a way to write about Christmas and money in one post!

I’ve got to say that having a budget has made these holidays so much easier! Huge relief! I did have a Christmas budget as well last year but I did not have a complete budget for ALL my finances set up in the way that I do now. It’s made a huge difference not just financially but also emotionally.

While I don’t think Christmas gifts are a must I do think it’s nice to give something thoughtful to close family and friends. I love giving home-made items and I  like giving things that are needed or just simple things like a batch of homemade cookies and a homemade card. In years past I’ve made votive holders,wrapping paper, Christmas cards and gift bags and the responses to the homemade stuff have  by far been more enthusiastic than store-bought stuff.

When it came to gifts for immediate family this year (I come from a large family so things can get expensive quick) we decided to pull names and get gifts only for the person who’s name we pulled. We also set a price limit of up to about $50-75 so that we can all participate and I gotta say it worked wonderfully. Staying within your means is such an easy concept but can be so hard to really understand and act on. My mother actually commented that she was incredibly happy about how we arranged things this year.

I’m having a hard time convincing my boyfriend to not overdo it on Christmas. We come from different families and different cultures and that can be quite obvious sometimes. The same goes for another couple in my family. This lady and her partner spend hundreds of dollars on each other while they have trouble paying their monthly rent. Last year he bragged he spent $1,500 on her and she bought him a new laptop. This year seems to be no different as she’s spent $700 on a new dresser for him, (she could’ve gotten a nice used solid wooden piece for $100 on craigslist) I wonder what he got her this year… I’m sure I’ll hear about it soon enough. *sigh* I find this so frustrating… that’s not what Christmas is about especially when you are broke!

Well so far my Christmas-money musings….  Merry Christmas all!

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