Thursday, November 13, 2008

How to spend less for Christmas -- wife has big spending ideas


Dear Dr. Jim

I just don't know what to do. My husband says we have to save money this year and spend NOTHING FOR CHRISTMAS.

I have always purchased gifts for everyone there is in our families. Most of them give back as well.

My rule is this: (in +/- $$'s)
$25 for people over 40 and cousins and friends
$50 for grandparents, nephews, nieces, uncles
$200-1000 for my hubby
$1000-3000 for each of the four kids.

Now you see why the old grouch might not be liking this. This amounts to around $10,000-15,000 each year. Now I have lost my job although he still has his.

Even on one family income we make over $48,000 a year. My solution is to just divide all those numbers by two and say that my half will not be given this year.

Does that sound right to you? Please, oh please, Dr. Jim, say that will be fine.

Needs a job in Michigan

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Well, Ms. Needs

That does not sound right at all.

I would like to side with your hubby but you aren't writing for me to say that.

What I will say is to leave Christmas gifting for the kids and a small gift to the spouses (I am thinking he will buy YOU something).

Also I would:
scale way down on the kids, either several smaller and less expensive gifts or one in the few hundreds;
set a limit on younger nieces and nephews to $10 skipping the older ones (a card and handkerchief would be OK);
send cards to the others, everyone else who was on your list before; and
make an agreement with hubby how much to spend on each other for a meaningful and loving gift, please don't let this amount get very high.

I know Michigan is hurting for jobs, could you possible get a temporary one during the Christmas season? There will be a lot of competition for those but you may have the edge with your maturity and working experience.

I hope this helped. There may be other solutions the readers might come up with.

And I might say, I would be grouchy too if my wife spent that much on Christmas. We don't even buy new cars, have never during our 35 years of marriage bought a new car. Just have to be frugal when we aren't rich.

Dr. Jim

An aside, if you could move to Texas, that would help. A lot of Michigan folks moved here in the 80's when things were rough.

Most moved back but as our great President Reagan once said, "Vote with your feet." Dr. Jim








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5 comments:

Putz said...

this person has got to be kidding...honest....that is astounding that that much could possibly be spent on christmas....tell me she is spooofing..we are in a recession girl...think about it, plwease...i , i , i i

rhymeswithplague said...

I'm with Putz on this one. This woman seems to have drunk the Kool-Aid on American consumerism, TV advertising, getting the little darlings EVERYTHING they want (and, believe me, they want EVERYTHING) because they might think she is a bad mommy if she doesn't. How sad for her and for the adults she is training her children by example to become. I won't even mention her husband.

I don't think our family has spent as much in ten Christmases as she wants to spend in one. She needs to ask herself, "WHY do I think I need to do this? What flaw in ME compels me to waste my substance this way? Have I started college funds for my children yet? Is our mortgage paid off? How many times a month do I really need to buy new clothes? What if it really isn't all about ME, ME, ME, and by extension, my family?"

Get back to me after you've answered those questions. We'll talk more.

Jim said...

Putz -- I never know if my readers are kidding or not. I do think her spending desires are outlandish. She should have married Bill Gates!

Rymes... -- Ditto re Putz. I hope she reads your comment, I am not sure at all she will like my answer. Probably she will leave before she reads the second paragraph. She may have just wanted something to throw at her husband and I wouldn't go along with that.
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Putz said...

i am still waiting for your next guest...i have such a hard time probably case i hav askmrjim keyed as favorite and the other jim blogs aere just not keyed..like lucy said on my blog, why was she saved for these last days when she can't even key her computer...ditto on that...i am still pineing for the olden days

Jim said...

Ok Mr. Putz, just go to your Address bar on top.
Change that '8' to a six and you get my photos and poems. Delete the number entirely and you get my regular JIM'S LITTLE BLOG.
Any number besides blank, six, or eight will give you a surprise.

Of course you can click on them on the side of this blog by these dirctions:
Right under the Links I like to brag about (more of Jim's) are links of the other goodies I have. And that is right under the visitor counter.
Try them all when you have time, my YouTube is there as well as some collected theme blog items.

While you are there please leave me a comment and I'll know you are getting the hang of it.
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