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Getting smarter for Christmas!
come and join me for the motivation- please!


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#1 New Sparkles

Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:49 AM

HI all,


Come in here and get yourselves a list together of what you need to sort out before Christmas! Keep motivated with me in paying off stuff, and in finding bargains before Christmas hits.

Bits about me....  blush.gif
I am in a relationship with a beautiful man and we have some STD- debt! too much, nothing we can't get under control of within 2 years but it has me thinking that we have to be smarter about where our money goes.

So, 1. We have this debt of about $30,000 to sort out, in the process of applying for a low interest balance transfer....

2. We have to buy presents for a kris kringle for his family, so we need x2 adult presents I think the limit was $80-100 pp but need to check....

3. Sell our extra washing machine and fridge either Gumtree or Ebay....

4. He has gone through all his X box games and will trade/sell those....

5. I have a Harvey norman gift voucher from a credit card reward points to regift or use... blush.gif  

6. we have to move from this rental soon, so in process of getting a rental bond sorted out again and gather up boxes and find a place to live.

7. we have agreed that I will pick up extra shifts at work too, so Im very lucky that we have that to utilise too.

8. I threw out our plastic christmas tree last year, and as i will have the kids this year Im nearly sure of ( I am a divorcee) I will go el naturale this year and el cheapo and will probably get a Huuuuuuge stick to decorate for Christmas this year instead of my vision to have a lush green pine smelling tree.

Fess up, What are your goals before the Christmas rush?

I guess I'm using this forum to keep me disciplined and on track, we were aiming to to go to NYC next year, but with soo much debt and the moving of houses sooner than we thought, I am going to cut down and work off the extra debt before we can get to NYC.

#2 Delirium

Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:23 AM

While we celebrate Christmas, I really don't think there's any point in going overboard for it, especially if you can't afford it.  I have a tree and decorations left over from years past, so that's sorted.  My DDs gifts have either been picked up on sale throughout the year or they're on laybuy which I have been paying off since July.  I need to get my parents, nieces and nephew something small, but that's it.

I don't have any debt, but am a single mum on Abstudy, so I need to keep to a tight budget.  It's just one day of the year and I don't think there's any point in getting yourself into financial stress over it.

#3 *melrose*

Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:31 PM

Oh i think this is just the right place for me... i spend around $3000 at Christmas so would love to cut that down to at least $2000 so i am on the look out for some bargains.

#4 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 24 October 2012 - 01:15 PM

QUOTE (Delirium @ 23/10/2012, 12:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's just one day of the year and I don't think there's any point in getting yourself into financial stress over it.


yyes.gif  this.   We don't have debt either but we are paying off big utility bills.

I can't think about xmas yet as we have other stuff going on but when I do it will be very low budget.

I have a gift card (was from stuff I returned) at Forever New so that will be used for one of my dd's gifts.  that's as far as I've thought about so far. blush.gif


#5 Green Gummy Bear

Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:37 AM

QUOTE (Delirium @ 23/10/2012, 12:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
While we celebrate Christmas, I really don't think there's any point in going overboard for it, especially if you can't afford it.


This.  Kid's don't know or care if you spend $50 or $500.

QUOTE (*melrose* @ 23/10/2012, 09:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh i think this is just the right place for me... i spend around $3000 at Christmas so would love to cut that down to at least $2000 so i am on the look out for some bargains.


I'm sorry, but spending $3,000 is just plain ridiculous.  The more stuff kids get, the less they appreciate what they have.


OP, why if money is tight would you throw out the Christmas tree?  Also just because the maximum Kris Kringle amount is $80, doesn't mean you have to spend that.  I'm sure if your family knows things are a bit tight for now they'll understand if you hand make gifts or don't spend that much.

I think you need to forget about the NYC trip for now.  Either that or resign to the fact that if you do go you'll still have a mountain of debt to come back to.  Guess it depends which is more important to you right now, going on holiday or being debt free.


#6 purpleblackqueen

Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:44 AM

My list for before Xmas:

1. Settle on House
2. Renos on House
3. Move on 15th Dec
4. Clean Old House


Then I will worry about Xmas- I am about 3/4 way through shopping

#7 New Sparkles

Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:52 AM

I'm a bit of a bah humbug at christmas and really agree that its an overrated day of overindugence... but I am jealous of the crafty people out there who make it a big deal in their houses with hanging up decorations and making it a meaningful day, I would like my kids to have memories of it being more than "how much did you get?" I have pulled out my chrsitmas decos box, and have quite a few of their daycare treats that they made to hang on my stick, so Im happy with that.

In saying that, I'm actually working Christmas day so my kids are going to spend it with my partner and his family. My ex was supposed to take them this year, but  rolleyes.gif

We are celebrating Christmas and my dads birthday 2 weeks before Christmas as they are going o/s this year.

Im looking forward to simplifying the whole concept, I have a few presents for my DD sorted, and I need to get my DS a few things, we have agreed to keep it low this year, I generally don't spend alot on it anyway.


Melrose that sounds like alot! How many people do you buy for? Is Christmas a huge event for you guys?

Mummyone1 thats a start for you at least! I like it when I have presents sorted out before December hits, Like Delirium does! I guess its being more organised throughout the year, not just in the months before hand.





#8 FloralArrangement

Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:54 AM

I am allowing about $1000 for Christmas gifts. That includes our family of 7, 2 nieces and a few other gifts. I have already ordered and received a lot of gifts online. I have mainly ordered from Amazon and Book depository. I have bought a lot of gifts for 1/2 the price they are sold for here.

We don't spend what we don't have. We don't have and have never have had a credit card. I use a debit card for online purchases.

#9 SMforshort

Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:59 AM

My tip for planning for Christmas gifts is to write a list.

Write down eveyone you need to buy for, an idea/ideas and a budget.

Then shop for bargains and tick them off.

For the kids - this is what I do:

One family present to share
- budget is up to you.  From big (trampoline), or something smaller like a blow up pool or board game to play together

then each child gets:
- book
- shirt
- food treat (they love those multi pack treat breakfast cereals)
- toy (1 or 2 depending on the budget)

And that is it.  Tick them off and this will stop you buying impulse items then having to buy extra items for the other kids to "balance it".

If you really plan and be disciplined I think it will make a difference.

#10 Purebells

Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:35 AM

I am on a strict budget this year with Xmas and am hunting out the bargins.

Have already started Xmas shopping. Got DD big present and now just have to get 1 or 2 small presents and her stocking bits and pieces - that will merely be things like bubble bath, shampoo etc - so things that are essential anyway original.gif

Family have a limit of $50 or less.

Food - I have Xmas eve at my house so will need to start working out the menu for that. Will just be some nice nibbles and some bubbles so pretty low key original.gif

I agree that you need to plan and be diciplined and not go crazy. Its one day and you need to be realistic original.gif

#11 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 25 October 2012 - 12:50 PM

I've finish shopping for DSDs, just waiting for the last few things to arrive. We spent under $100 each on them, probably close to $50, but they are getting loads of little things (bags, monster high doll, nail polish, stationary, mp3 player etc.)

I have done the nephews and niece (again waiting for it to arrive.) Spent under $50 each.

DF is done, his was $200, but that is from Mum and me, so $100 each original.gif

My Dad always buys his own thing and I just give him money, so $50.

My sis and BIL get a bottle of their favourite each, so that's $50 each.

I still need to sort out my Mum and DF's side of the family. We aren't doing Christmas with his family until late January because his Mum and brother etc are OS. So there isn't a huge hurry, but I do need to figure out what I will get them!

We probably have another $300 to spend and have spent around $450 so far original.gif

#12 Frau Farbissina

Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:59 PM

QUOTE
I have mainly ordered from Amazon and Book depository. I have bought a lot of gifts for 1/2 the price they are sold for here.
This is what I am doing too. Even with postage you can still be way ahead in savings.


QUOTE
My tip for planning for Christmas gifts is to write a list.

Write down eveyone you need to buy for, an idea/ideas and a budget.

Then shop for bargains and tick them off


I am doing this as well. It makes it easier to stick to a plan, rather than keep on buying bits and peices and then I usually end up with too much.


I also have a present stash of things I have bought throughout the year (usually on special) that be used for birthday/christmas gifts.



#13 aprilrain

Posted 25 October 2012 - 02:15 PM

Gifts for teachers always throw me. I know some people don't  give one. Also volunteers eg Scout leader. I bought some nice single boxed mugs @ $10ea. Do you think that is ok, too much, not enough?gift boxed mug

#14 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 27 October 2012 - 05:35 PM

QUOTE (aprilrain @ 25/10/2012, 03:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Gifts for teachers always throw me. I know some people don't  give one. Also volunteers eg Scout leader. I bought some nice single boxed mugs @ $10ea. Do you think that is ok, too much, not enough?gift boxed mug


Perfect original.gif


Well I found the tree and decorations in the shed today (was worried I'd chucked them) phew at least I don't have to fork out for those now.
Also got dh a shaving giftpack - we were in BIG W and he picked it up and said it was a good one with good mix of things in it so I said "Good you can have it for xmas" laugh.gif of course he'll get other stuff but it's another thing.

#15 heather124

Posted 27 October 2012 - 05:43 PM

I love spoiling my daughter on Christmas but in reality 90% of the toys get played with for a few days and never get touched again.  So this year I'm going 1 big gift (which will be a bike) and then a few books.  Maybe 1 toy that she has mentioned wanting.  But that's it

#16 1miss2littlemen

Posted 27 October 2012 - 05:49 PM

I have to order my new pram sad.gif Its going to take at least 12 weeks to get here and bub is due in Feb! I also have to ge this house cleaned top to bottom.... Hosting my SIL and niece for Christmas lunch (before christmas day) it dosent sound like a big job but oh boy it is!

#17 mitty82

Posted 27 October 2012 - 05:50 PM

Well.....so far I have organised a scooter each for the kids(they have old cheapy ones) so this year they are getting good quality ones.

I have a wii fit plus away on laybuy, some match box cars for the boys and another 3 pcks of vehicles from a school fundraiser and that is it.



I have my sister and bil, my 3 nephews, my husband(he wants the nxt series of restouring dreams dvds), my 12yr old daughter(thinking mobile phone, hair stuff, girly stuff, clothes, she wants a pair of vanns) and my 2 boys 6 and 3. That is it, my mother doesnt buy presents for us and neither does my 3 younger brothers nor does my oldest sister so it makes it cheaper. It is pretty sad the lack of relationship and priority they have for us. It isnt about the gifts but when your 12yr old daughter thinks that her grandmother is my old sister im like unsure.gif

Normally I have everything organised and paying it off onlaybuy by  now, but with me working this year and being pretty flat out and having a lack of lots of money due to a holiday and a few other necessary purchases like a washing machine(our old one died) i havent bothered.
Maybe im going to regret it though

#18 mitty82

Posted 27 October 2012 - 05:53 PM

Teacher gifts, I like to give a thank you gift at a different time of the year cos xmas time is so expected. So last friday it was worlds teachers day.....my 6yr old took a massive box of chocs and a handmade card and another crafty thing he made and she was over the moon. She is a fantastic teacher. Nothing like making gifts last all year round.


#19 mez70

Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:33 AM

For me the lead up to Christmas is also more about the back to school expenses. I like to have the money for it all set aside going into Christmas, so that in Jan it is not a mad scramble. I have 2 kids at school so book lists, shoes, extra uniform pieces, generally come in around the $700.00 mark, I also have to factor in another $300.00 dollars this year as my youngest starts 3 year old kinder..

I still have a tree I have had for 10 years but it is still functional so cannot see any reason to replace (apart from a want lol)

Kids presents I have some on the layby, I have collected some from layby and will do the rest closer to the time. My oldest DS knows so he is easier this year as he may get something more exy that he wants rather than me buying stuff that doesn't get played with to have bulk etc

Family presents are still to be done but there is only a couple so not as much of an issue...

I basically work on Cash at Christmas, I have my savings in an account I cant touch and when the time to use it comes I will with draw it and when it is gone it is gone......

I am hosting Christmas day but only have 2 extras so it is just a case of getting soft drink etc when on special, getting Frozen Turkey roll when on sale etc and then fresh stuff the day before. need to work on my phone plan (need to find better one) same with insurance. Have reduced my health insurance so that is good


#20 Oh dear

Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:51 AM

For the first time ever I'm pretty organized for christmas this year already.
I have pretty much got the kids including nieces and nephews presents, all I have to do is there 'Santa' gifts closer to the time. Other than that I only have DH to buy for.
I'm getting all adults vouchers this yr so can do that online.
My baby is due 2 weeks before Christmas ( see there is a reason to be organized this year lol) so that is getting my full attention this year.
Now all I really have to do is convince people that we really would just like to stay home on our own with our new baby and not have a houseful of people  ph34r.gif  blush.gif This maybe the hardest part.

#21 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 28 October 2012 - 03:17 PM

This year ds' class rep organised a photo book for the teacher so all I had to do was give $5 and send some pics of ds. So that's all sorted.
DD will probably give her teachers something - a mug from Typo filled with chocs I think.

I was wrapping ds' birthday presents today and he had way too many so I held a few over for xmas, so that's something for him started.
Also found a bag of books I bought during a sale I forgot I had so maybe I'm not doing as bad as I thought!

#22 gina70

Posted 29 October 2012 - 06:10 AM

Great thread!  I love Christmas!

I have a Christmas account and it has over $2k in it.  I have started buying small bits and pieces for my dds, but we are getting a ragdoll kitten early December so he is all of our main present.  I scour the markets for  my dds as they collect vintage/ retro things.  dd2 also collects old softdrink bottles.

My sister is the hardest to buy for as she doesn't like clutter and pretty much buys whatever she wants.

Teachers:  dd2 is in primary school and I will put money towards the voucher the parents are organising.  For dd1's high school teachers I will let her choose 1 or 2 very special ones and buy a bottle of wine.

I am not entertaining, but like to have lots of special food in the house over Christmas.  

We need a new tree this year.  I don't want to spend more than $100.  Anyone have any recommendations?  dd1 wants  a white tree?!

#23 Ianthe

Posted 29 October 2012 - 06:19 AM

I have already bought a decent amount of stuff. I lay-byed stuff during one of the toy sales. I also have sorted out the grownups I buy for-bought some DVD boxed sets on special earlier this year. It's my 15 nearly 16yo I am stuck on and he has a birthday in November too.

I just read the Lego advent calender thread and so need to source one of those and we also buy a fresh Christmas tree.



#24 stephanu

Posted 29 October 2012 - 06:42 AM

QUOTE (justthegirls @ 25/10/2012, 10:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm sorry, but spending $3,000 is just plain ridiculous.  The more stuff kids get, the less they appreciate what they have.


It's not so ridiculous when you have 6 grandparents, 8 nieces and nephews, 3 brothers and sisters on one side, 2kks on the other side, 2 kks in the extended family and your own kids to buy for. Plus food to take to 3 parties. I wouldn't change any of this because my family is huge and amazing and I love it, but it's hard on the wallet.

People who layby in July, how do you know what your kids will like 5 months ahead?

I'm always too scared I will get it wrong. Plus I find it really hard to find them anything they want/I want them to have from the major stores. Maybe this will be easier when they are older.

#25 kpingitquiet

Posted 29 October 2012 - 06:56 AM

We bought all but the stocking-stuffer gifts for kiddo and niece during the mid-year sales. Money is tight as we've just really reigned ourselves in and stopped relying on overtime for basics. We're now just using OT for non-survival things like my schooling, home renovations, entertainment, etc, and are slowly paying off our debt by doing this. Our Xmas goals have more to do with the 2 weeks vacation my husband will have between now and January. He normally only gets 1 day off per week so vacation is a precious commodity! So we're:

-redoing the 3rd bedroom into office/playroom.  Total cost: $60-100
-redoing entry/living/hallway. Total cost: $150-200ish
-updating my passport and immigration crap. Total cost: $130
-building "new" garden shed, planting more veggies, fencing/filling redneck-pool, etc...probably all for free. It's good to recycle and to have tradie friends!

As for other people's gifts, we're giving lots of hugs for Christmas lol. I may do a small-gift raid on Amazon and Etsy for my US family. Their big gift from us was that we flew out there in April, and I think they all realize how much that hurt the bank account! For each other, we're doing dollar-store stuff to open on the day and probably going to "gift each other"  a new dining table. We're planning a big yardsale either in Dec or Jan so that should more than recoup any gifty costs.

Straight gift budget has been/is:
Kiddo birthday (late Nov): $175 ($45 outstanding, for cake/fun day out)
Kiddo xmas: $75 ($25 outstanding)
Family xmas: $200
Our xmas: $50-$100ish if we don't get the dining table, $400 if we do.

Total cost of 4th quarter 2012 for us *insert drumroll* - $650-$1000. Chances of it all getting done? 60% biggrin.gif




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