I have to tell you up front that this is a very tough category for Hubby and I. We love spoiling the grandchildren and our kids. So we struggled for days with setting a budget for this one.
For the first 10 months of 2016, we have spent $2435.55 or $243.56 a month on gifts. For the last 12 months we have spent $ 2809.79 or $ 234.15 on gifts. That is a large chunk of our spending money. Plus that doesn't even include the majority of gifts purchased with rewards and rebates. Even though we tried to reign this in mid year, we did not have much success.
After mulling this over and over, we have decided to reign in this spending for 2017. We are setting a fixed budget that we are going to stick to.
We will not accept any invitations for baby shower or weddings unless it is family or best friends. The baby shower invitations in the neighborhood have gotten overwhelming. So I will RSVP no and send a small gift. I have set a budget of $100. total for those during all of 2017. If I can make a nice gift cheaply, I will. If not, I will work the sales and rebates to get the nicest gift at a great discount. I realize that if we RSVP no that we do not have to send a gift. So I will take that into consideration also. If it is a wedding invitation of a friend's child that we haven't seen in 15 years, I will not send a gift. If it is a baby shower invitation of a best friend's daughter then that will get a small gift. However we will stick to the $100. and when it is gone, it is gone.
For family, we have decided to stick to the following budget:
Sons and Daughter in Laws:
Birthdays: $ 50.00 x 4 = $ 200.00
Anniversaries: $50.00 x 2 = $ 100.00
Christmas: $ 50.00 x 4 = $ 200.00
We usually get them gift cards to a restaurant, department store or Amazon for birthdays and anniversaries.
For Christmas, they either get cash if there is something that they are saving for or a $100.00 gift card for the two of them together for a restaurant, department store or Amazon.
Birthdays: $100.00 x 2 = $ 200.00
Christmas: $100.00 x 2 = $ 200.00
Souvenirs: $ 30.00 x 2 = $ 60.00
Little Purchases During the Year: $ 50.00 x 2 = $ 100.00
When my grandson turns 9 he will get a nice TV like we did for our granddaughter but that won't happen in 2017. Souvenirs will be when we go to the Zoo or some place else during the year. Then when we are out and about with the grandchildren and they want something or we want to surprise them with something that is when the $100.00 little purchase budget will kick in.
So the gift budget for 2017 totals $1,160.00. If I can pay for some of this with credit card rewards I will. This year I will track what rewards I use for gifts. My rebates, bottle deposits, and small change are being saved over the next year for my spending money at Disney World in January 2018.
Hubby and I do not exchange gifts for Christmas, anniversaries or birthdays. We may go out to dinner for our anniversary or birthdays but that comes out of our restaurant and eating out budget.
It was very hard coming up with these numbers and it will be very hard to stick to. However knowing that we have a trust set up for all of our children and grandchildren that we invest into every month makes it a little easier.
Do you overspend on gifts especially for your children and grandchildren? Is it wrecking your budget? Do you charge those gifts and then have the pressure of those awful bills coming due in January? Are you spending months paying those bills off? Perhaps you should sit down and work out a gift budget for next year like we did. And then stick to it.