Here’s a look at our Christmas budget for this year. There is still quite a bit that could be trimmed, but it is an improvement from 2017. I may actually be under budget in a few spots, but I have a few friends I haven’t included either, so I expect a few small gifts to be added to the list.
Décor (including tree and wreath) $120.00 $120.00
Presents for PoniesandFIREjr $210.00 $300.00
Cards $15.00 $40.00
Gifts for teachers $40.00 $75.00
Gifts for nieces and nephew $100.00 $200.00
Gift for parents $50.00 $50.00
Gift for MIL $90.00 $90.00
Holiday party costs $100.00 $100.00
Baking supplies $30.00 NEW for 2018
Christmas Eve dinner/Christmas morning brunch $75.00 $75.00
Gifts for each other $150.00 $300.00
TOTAL $980.00 $1,350.00
I added a new category for baking supplies this year. I want to do some serious cookie making with PoniesandFIREjr, since he loves to bake lately. I am trying to focus on activities and memories over things, so this is our Christmas activity to do list:
1. Christmas movie marathon with hot cocoa and snuggles with the puppies
2. Walk around the property. We take a lot of walks in the warm weather, but skip out in the winter. I think a family walk in the cold weather will be good for us.
3. Drive around and look at the lights
4. Get our tree. There is a local farm about 5 minutes from our house where you can cut your own and they have free hot cider and donuts. It’s a super fun day.
5. Tree decorating and listening to Christmas music. Maybe with a little wine. ;)
6. Make cookies together and decorate.
7. Make treats for the horses and bring them to the barn.
8. Read all our Christmas books together.
9. Write a letter to Santa.
10. Put together a bag of donations for our local center that distributes clothes, toys and household items to those in need for free.
I also host a holiday party each year for clients. It's basically a potluck dinner/drinks/hang out at our house for a few hours. The $100 budget covers some of the food, drinks and party supplies. We always end up with leftovers that we eat for days.
What free or inexpensive activities do you have planned for the holidays? Leave me a comment! :)
Our vacation is over and we are back at the grind. I have not taken 12 days off from work AND my business (with the exception of my maternity leave) EVER. It was a strange and amazing feeling. I definitely feel more refreshed, but at the same time, it’s making me strongly motivated to get to FIRE faster. If I’m this refreshed after 12 days off, how amazing will I feel with months off to recharge and focus on health and family?
Yesterday I found out I am getting a 2% raise January 1st. I was hoping for more, the company’s finances are not there. Everyone is getting 2% this year. Still, a raise is a raise and I am debating whether to up the 401k contributions 2% or use the money towards the big goals – paying off the truck and then slaughtering the mortgage.
We are finalizing the Christmas budget this week too. I struggle with not going overkill on presents. When we decided to do a vacation this year, it was with the agreement that it would mean a simpler Christmas, but now that it’s the time to live that I’m a little anxious. I want PoniesandFIREjr to have a great Christmas morning.
I know intellectually, what he really cares about as a five year old, is time with his family and doing things together. I still want presents under the tree for him though.
So I am deal shopping, trying to sell stuff on Poshmark and making a list of a few things that are affordable and I know he will be delighted with. Last Christmas we got some things used (Thomas and Brios) which he LOVED. I may try to do a few used toys again.