I know we are only in June (albeit the end of June), but I am already thinking about Christmas. Let’s face it — geek toys are expensive and my kids and husband are just as geeky as I am. They want video games, computers, the latest books, Ipods, cell phones… Umm, yeah. Plus, I love Christmas. It’s my time of the year to go all out. And I mean all out! I try to buy/make gifts for everyone in my very large extended family. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about let’s just list the kids — we have 6 kids of our own (including our daughter in law), 2 grandkids and 8 nieces and nephews. If you’ve lost count that’s 16 people, just counting the kids. Christmas gets a little bit expensive, to say the least.
Every year, I spend a considerable amount of time trying to figure out how we are going to fund everything. Sometimes people get crossed off the list (and gifts are bought later in the year), but most years I simply overextend our budget (usually by a lot!).
Steve doesn’t like this, for obvious reasons. The first year we were together (before our two youngest were born), we got into huge fights. This was not something we had discussed beforehand. I just kind of went crazy. Unfortunately, we were going through a really tough time financially so there was a lot of worry on his part and a lot of crying on my part. If it wasn’t for our total commitment to each other and the relationship, I’m positive it would have broken us up.
Since then, Steve has come to accept my Christmas craziness, but he still doesn’t like it. He understands that it’s “my time of year” and that it’s very important to me. And, that it’s important to me not because people expect it, but because I like to give gifts and I love this particular holiday. However, he still doesn’t like the expense of it all and spends most of the season gritting his teeth and biting his tongue.
This is the long winded explanation for my experiment. This year I am going to attempt to completely fund Christmas with money earned from cutting coupons, rebates and “search and earn” sites. My plan is not to buy anything (except food) unless I can go through a rebate site like Ebates and Mr. Rebate or have a coupon for it. The money I save will go into a special “Christmas fund” account. This account will be supplemented with Swag Bucks gift cards.
I have a specific amount of money in mind, so I know what I’m working toward. I’ll let you know how I do.
Are you a big fan of Christmas or another holiday? How do you fund your gift purchases?