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Cash flowing X-MAS gifts, B-day, Prop Tax due December

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  • tripods68
    replied
    Originally posted by snafu View Post
    "We tried to set aside $200 a month but it hasn't work very well for us."

    tripod, there is no getting out of paying municipal property tax. If you haven't set aside the sum due in December you'll need to dip into savings.

    bviously the holiday season is very important to yourselves, extended family and colleagues. If it's any comfort, the research says families will be spending about the same amount as last year.

    The facts tell you if you're to spend $ 500. for DD's birthday, buy an iPad, gifts for 6 children and 24 adults, share cost of celebratory Reno trip for parents, joint family trip including your share of house rental, food, entertainment, transportation and more, you'll be dipping into savings in a major way. In your shoes I'd be stashing a total of $ 400. per month as Christmas Fund 2016.

    You didn't mention how much you pay in property tax but you need that set aside as well. Our city has a very convenient no cost plan that allows homeowners to have a set sum automatically transfer to City coffers each of 11 months. In December whatever balance owing is taken, less than the others. The downside is if there is ever insufficient sums, the entire remaining sum is due immediately plus a major fee.

    You could set up a Property Tax savings account at the best e-bank or CU you can find and automatically transfer 1/12th of your tax bill, adjusted when you get your annual tax notice.

    As mentioned before $1500 is the property tax due in December. We have the money in our savings to pay for all the expenses including the property for December. However, our goal is not tap into the savings instead ONLY use our regular paychecks.

    We make enough income every month to pay for all the expenses; xmas, b-day and property tax outside our recurring monthly bills food, utilities, gas.

    As mentioned we have no debt, so we keep more of our paychecks per month and save it after retirement/medical deductions pretax. I hope i'm clear.


    Update: My wife and I decided not to buy the iPad this christmas. She rather replace our old iMac next summer (maybe sell our old iMac for $500 on CL).
    Last edited by tripods68; 10-18-2015, 10:01 AM.

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  • snafu
    replied
    "We tried to set aside $200 a month but it hasn't work very well for us."

    tripod, there is no getting out of paying municipal property tax. If you haven't set aside the sum due in December you'll need to dip into savings.

    Obviously the holiday season is very important to yourselves, extended family and colleagues. If it's any comfort, the research says families will be spending about the same amount as last year.

    The facts tell you if you're to spend $ 500. for DD's birthday, buy an iPad, gifts for 6 children and 24 adults, share cost of celebratory Reno trip for parents, joint family trip including your share of house rental, food, entertainment, transportation and more, you'll be dipping into savings in a major way. In your shoes I'd be stashing a total of $ 400. per month as Christmas Fund 2016.

    You didn't mention how much you pay in property tax but you need that set aside as well. Our city has a very convenient no cost plan that allows homeowners to have a set sum automatically transfer to City coffers each of 11 months. In December whatever balance owing is taken, less than the others. The downside is if there is ever insufficient sums, the entire remaining sum is due immediately plus a major fee.

    You could set up a Property Tax savings account at the best e-bank or CU you can find and automatically transfer 1/12th of your tax bill, adjusted when you get your annual tax notice.
    Last edited by snafu; 10-18-2015, 11:56 AM.

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  • FLA
    replied
    Originally posted by creditcardfree View Post
    Heifer International. A good charity that our family has given to in the past.
    thanks so much!

    Leave a comment:


  • snafu
    replied
    We stepped out of the holiday frenzy several years ago when we observed too many manic shoppers, buying expensive gifts that were not valued nor enjoyed by the recipient, with money not yet earned, to impress people they really didn't even like.

    With DS1's birthday December 26th, we celebrated several family birthdays and Christmas with one event for kiddies in the early afternoon [when DSs were youngsters]; open house for adults 7 PM onward for drinks, holiday food and entertainment. I discovered it's far more satisfying to spend the money and effort for a fun event than to offer relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbours more clutter-like gifts.

    I've a gift/entertainment budget that is funded 1/12 each month plus a holiday supplement in December. With both sons remaining in the east this holiday season and surgery, I've modified plans to a holiday, buffet dinner on the 26th

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  • LivingAlmostLarge
    replied
    We haven't a budget yet for spending but this year we might. We've never spent anything for the kids at Christmas. They get enough. I usually budget $25 for each teacher and last year I spent at the end of the year $200 for 8 teachers. Ugh.

    I refuse to exchange with friends for holidays and birthday I do. But I usually do a book or gift card for birthday parties. I also ask for a book instead of a toy for my kid's birthday or nothing is fine too.

    Leave a comment:


  • tripods68
    replied
    Originally posted by tomhole View Post
    I'll echo what others have offered: I save a set amount each month to cover irregular expenses throughout the year, like Xmas gifts. These include: HOA fee, car registration, estimated taxes, birthday gifts, annual vet visits, vacation, show choir fee, etc... All added up, this is a significant amount but splitting it in 12 helps with the monthly cash flow.

    Tom

    We tried to set aside $200 a month but it hasn't work very well for us. Hopefully with our new approach in budgeting we will not have this issue.

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  • tripods68
    replied
    Originally posted by FLA View Post
    I think you can save at least $500 this year, instead of waiting til next year.

    Everywhere I have worked, we have decided to stop Christmas giving and everyone was relieved. Can you suggest that to your co-workers?

    Your list has 24 adults on it and plus more than 6 kids. I can see 6 kids but 24 adults? If you have the money for 24 adults, enjoy doing it then go for it. If not, and you are using savings or whatnot, I would figure out a way to cull that list or find something you can make homemade.

    Christmas is a big deal for our large family. Its a tradition that we cherish every year growing up. Up to the day of Christmas we get together at least once a week, if its not in our house, it's over cousin, or my parents, or sister. Mainly these are food and alcohol expenses. We don't mind spending that much for Christmas either (sorry if I sounded that way) as long its in our budget. My wife's work and my work have a holiday tradition. We attend each other holiday party, secret Santa, and gift exchanges with $20 limit. It gets old sometimes but I do enjoy it.

    Two years ago, my son broke my wife's ipad. We are replacing that with the new ipad with stylus. I think it cost $650 plus tax. That's a big chunk of the $2500. We're also looking to buy my parents a weekend package trip to Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno (couples package and massage). We're splitting this cost with my sister around $400-$500. We sister's brother in-law is coming for Christmas from Virginia. She wants to take a weekend trip for all of us to Lake Tahoe (house for rent). We're setting aside at least $500 to split the cost for accommodation.

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  • corn18
    replied
    Originally posted by tripods68 View Post
    I guess, my question to you all what steps have you taken to afford Decemberís expenses without tapping into your savings?
    I'll echo what others have offered: I save a set amount each month to cover irregular expenses throughout the year, like Xmas gifts. These include: HOA fee, car registration, estimated taxes, birthday gifts, annual vet visits, vacation, show choir fee, etc... All added up, this is a significant amount but splitting it in 12 helps with the monthly cash flow.

    Tom

    Leave a comment:


  • creditcardfree
    replied
    We save for gifts all year long. This year a mere $600 will be saved by Dec 1. We have never been as high as $2500, but probably $1200. The people we buy for is dwindling by mutual choice.

    At this point we buy for our two daughters, ourselves (if we decide to, some years we don't), my husband's mom, and maybe five others (it depends on the year). I break it down this way:
    $100 for each daughter
    $50 each spouse
    $50 mother in law
    $25 for five others

    That's $475 if you do the math. Leaving us with another $125 for a small gift for work, stamps for cards, wrapping paper and meal items. It may be less if we don't buy for the five others.

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  • creditcardfree
    replied
    Originally posted by FLA View Post
    Before we did the season passes, she wanted donations in her name to a third world country where you can buy a family a goat or a cow, etc. (there is a legit charity for this and they have a nice catalog that shows what your money can do. Except I cannot remember their name just now.)
    Heifer International. A good charity that our family has given to in the past.

    Leave a comment:


  • FLA
    replied
    I think you can save at least $500 this year, instead of waiting til next year.

    ITA on trying to get other adults to stop swapping gifts, no one has ever declined when I've done it. Say you'll do lunch instead. If you find yourself never doing that lunch, then that is a person you probably do not need to exchange gifts with, kwim? If a year goes by, neither of you have arranged for lunch or even seen each other, this likely is a person whom you can cut out entirely.

    And then for the kids, have each kid pull another kid's name out of a hat. Then each kid goes with the parent and picks out a gift. The parents give suggestions on what the kids like. The kids like picking out the present.

    Teachers, I got the least expensive item from that catalog that helps third world countries, and donated it in their name. Tight years, I'd have the kids make her something.

    Everywhere I have worked, we have decided to stop Christmas giving and everyone was relieved. Can you suggest that to your co-workers?

    Your list has 24 adults on it and plus more than 6 kids. I can see 6 kids but 24 adults? If you have the money for 24 adults, enjoy doing it then go for it. If not, and you are using savings or whatnot, I would figure out a way to cull that list or find something you can make homemade.

    Leave a comment:


  • MonkeyMama
    replied
    Originally posted by tripods68 View Post

    I guess, my question to you all what steps have you taken to afford Decemberís expenses without tapping into your savings?
    We save 1/12 monthly, for all non-monthly expenses (which would cover property taxes).

    As to Christmas/December, we don't partake for the most part. So we don't have any large expenses to cover. Our Christmas budget is literally $0. Growing up we all had birthdays in December and we were lucky to get one Xmas gift. A big To-do was never made about Christmas. These days, none of our friends or family want to exchange gifts; kids too spoiled by grandparents. So we put less effort into our kids' Christmases than our parents did. I also have a crazy work schedule in December so have really bowed out. If my work situation was different I'd maybe be more into the homemade spirit. Anyway, as our Christmases get less materialistic over the years, it all seems more insane to me. (I did not know before how extravagant Christmas was for so many). Of course there is nothing wrong with it if you can afford it, but I do wonder how many people really stop and think about it. OR how much is just something you do because it's something you have always done, or feel some obligation. It makes me sad to see how much people stress over Christmas and go into debt over it.

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  • tripods68
    replied
    Just to clarify $500 maximum is just for daughter's birthday gifts includes food expenses/entertainment that day.

    $2500 is maximum allocated towards Christmas for everything. That include spending for us and our kids. We also plan to buy gifts for 15 adults, and 6 children; in addition gifts to my 2 coworkers, my wife's 2 coworkers, our 4 friends and their kids, and daughter's teacher. We are stretching that budget. Our goal is not to go over that budget. IF we succeed or spend less that's simply a bonus. Since Christmas will not be in our house, it will be my sister's house, (real happy about that ) it would be cheaper, it means less food expense and entertainment. I know to some of you $2500 is a lot, but we do have the budget for compared last year.

    Next year we are hoping to reduce Christmas budget by $500.00

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  • Jluke
    replied
    Originally posted by tripods68 View Post
    I guess, my question to you all what steps have you taken to afford Decemberís expenses without tapping into your savings?
    I save for XMAS, property taxes, and other quarterly/yearly expenses throughout the year. I reduce my savings in Quicken by a certain amount each month so I do not get fooled into thinking I have more money than I really do.

    If you like going all out at XMAS, and can afford to, there is nothing wrong with that. Some people will spend their money on vacations, gadgets, etc. during the year and not spend as much at XMAS.

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  • disneysteve
    replied
    Originally posted by tripods68 View Post
    Our daughter is turning 10 in December, we list a budget of $500 for her, Christmas $2500
    Is that $500 and $2,500 for gifts? If so, I'd attack that number. That's a huge amount to be spending on gifts. How many people is that $2,500 for? Do you really need to get all of them gifts? Can you do homemade stuff instead for at least some of them - baked goods, maybe something handmade if any of you have a craft or hobby that you do. Or just sit down with these people NOW and tell them that the gift giving needs to be cut back. Agree together to eliminate the gift swapping. Chances are they'll be happy too because they may be struggling to afford it just as your are.

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