How I Controlled Christmas Costs in the Past
I’m constantly looking out for value in Christmas Gifts. For example, my wife is a big book enthusiast, so whenever I see certain authors in the Bargain Bins, I snatch them up! Some of her favorite authors are Stephen King, Grisham, Ken Follet and others…
Sometimes, I would cheat by going to a used book store and look for volumes that are in pristine condition. I once bought a hardback book for $1 at one thrift shop. After examining the book for any obvious marks or dog-eared pages, I bought it. I wrapped up my used-but-new-looking Christmas Present, and gave it to my wife and she was none the wiser. Later I told her what I did, and she was honestly impressed (or understood that we didn’t have much money back then).
Now I often buy first editions of her favorite authors on eBay. They are not $1, but we now have a bit more money to spend on such things. The shipping on such purchases is very reasonable, and currently (although this may change soon) there is no sales tax on item bought online (and in particular eBay) unless the buy and seller is in the same state (at least that’s the way it is in my state).
As a bachelor, I often got by at Christmas with only spending $100 on Christmas presents. And of that $100, fifty of it was for my younger sister as a big surprise (back then the money meant more to her than it does now). I use to get various size boxes and put the money in the boxes hidden so she had to search for it, or fight to get it out of the package. It was a fun time and something that we both looked forward to, but now since she’s an adult, that has fell by the wayside.
How I control Christmas Costs now
Now my methods are simplified! All I do is create a budget of how much I’m going to spend, and then try to stick to it. If we go over, then I try to make up for it by reducing my cost for other things over the following months until I hit my initial budget numbers. Unfortunately this happens a lot of the time…
We usually spend a bit over $1,000 now, but a lot of that reason is because we have kids! Kids grow up quickly, and Christmas is like magic for them, so we try to make the best of it.
How I would like to Control Christmas Costs in the Future
This might not be a surprise to my regular readers, but I would like to have money invested in dividend stocks or bonds that would provide dividends or interest money at certain intervals. This would be my Christmas Dividend Fund and I would use that money for Christmas present purchases. Sometimes I wonder if I should have called this blog moneyreasonsfordividends.com (lol).
I’ve had the dream of a Christmas Fund that would pay for my Christmas gift purchases, even since I was in college. I need to start this now instead of later if I ever expect to have such a thing.
Control your cost today to enable you to have more elaborate Christmas experiences and gifts in the future!