Squawkback: Are you spending less this holiday season?

I’m a pinch of Grinch with a dash of Scrooge when it comes to holiday spending. I’ve never seen the point of breaking the piggy bank for a chubby guy in a red suit. I love the festivities, but I do not love the bills.

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Question: Given the current economic climate, are you spending less this holiday? Where are you cutting costs?

Fox’s Answers:

  • I’m spending less. I’m making lots of homemade presents this year. I’m also giving frugal gifts to loved ones.
  • I’m cutting back on holiday foods, gifts, and paper. My little home garden is proving fruitful for homemade preserves and presents. I’m also cutting costs by wrapping gifts without gift wrap.

What are your holiday spending thoughts?

Your two cents:

  1. Dalene December 10th, 2008

    Yes, I am not spending as much this holiday season. The primary gifts are homemade gifts that I know will be well received as I spent time matching gifts with each person’s interests. I let everyone in my family know about the decision to give homemade gifts and they seemed very interested in doing the same. I have found what initially seemed a stressful holiday for all worrying about money as we all were has become one of the most relaxing holidays in memory. And handmade is much more fun.

  2. neimanmarxist December 10th, 2008

    yes, we’re spending less. mostly because this year my husband’s grandmother will be with us, and she pointed out that gifts are for children and would rather not spend her time and energy thinking up gifts we probably don’t want anyway! so our gift exchange has been nixed, which I”m delighted with. Besides that’ we’re just baking goodies for friends and neighbors and giving my brother and mother each a small but meaningful gift.

  3. marci December 10th, 2008

    Spending about the same per person – but as I have been a very frugal gift giver for years, there’s really no place to cut back any further :)

    My gifts do include my garage sales finds, and sewing and baking, or as I prefer to call them “Individually handcrafted homemade personalized articles” :)

  4. Hayden Tompkins December 10th, 2008

    We’re not even doing Christmas. No cards, no presents, no tree, no Christmas dinner – just time with my beloved.

    Even if I were employed, we wouldn’t be doing anything this Christmas except filing bankruptcy. Ho. Ho. Ho.

  5. Jennifer December 10th, 2008

    I’m just trying to narrow my gift giving circle and give some home made presents. For years we’ve been doing gifts for aunts, uncles, and cousins, but I’m going to try to ween away from that this year. It just gets out of control. So my aunts, uncles and cousins are getting some baked goods.

    I’ll probably spend the same on my immediate family this year though.

  6. Susy December 10th, 2008

    I’m making a lot of gifts this year, but I always do. We’ve never had big gift-giving families (which we’re thankful for). Although this year we’re spending even less than in the past, but mostly because we bought the few presents we do buy on clearance throughout the year!

  7. Kathleen December 10th, 2008

    We are spending about the same this year despite the fact that our incomes have increased significantly due to new jobs. I love to make gifts, and I shop throughout the year for good deals.

  8. Liz December 10th, 2008

    I’m not spending less this year. But I am making more presents as well as buying less “stuff for the sake of stuff” presents. For example, I’m focusing on buying more experiences such as wine tasting classes and more practical/useful gifts.

  9. Sagan December 10th, 2008

    My spending isn’t changing at all because of the economy. It doesn’t really affect me personally. But, as with every year, I’ll be making some stuff and the rest will be of the consumables type (art, food and drink, bath stuff etc).

  10. GrannyAnnie December 10th, 2008

    I probably am spending a little less this year, but not because of the economy. This is the first year in my life I have ever lived within a budget, and I have developed a Christmas budget as well. My family and I have always loved gift giving and exchanging gifts, and I do not plan to stop that part of Christmas. I also find shopping together and wrapping gifts and hiding gifts until the big day fun. We have a few traditions related to shopping together as well, and I don’t want to give those up. I do, however, wish to remove the stress of not knowing how much money I have, how much I spent (gasp!), whether I got “enough” for the children in the family, etc. So I budgeted and planned this year and saved beginning as early as last February. I sat down with my husband and planned what and how much to buy for the children, and I figured out how much per person I could afford comfortably to spend for each of the “big people” and still stay within budget. So far it is working. I’m not done shopping yet, and I still have shopping trips planned with each of my grown children, which will include eating out at the restaurant of each child’s choice. The difference this year is that I have planned for it and saved for it. The stress this year is WAY down. Merry Christmas everybody!

  11. Maddy December 10th, 2008

    Our spending is not really changing. Although we draw names so that we do not have to buy a gift for every single person in the family, there are more kids this year. Also, as lame as this may sound, we usually purchase gift cards because I don’t want to spend $50 on a gift that is going to get re-gifted or worse, dropped off at the Goodwill. This way, the recipient can purchase something they really want and will use.

  12. Share December 10th, 2008

    I started off intending to spend less and do all homemade gifts, and for the most part I think I succeeded, but I think I still ended up spending too much!

  13. Fabulously Broke December 10th, 2008

    I am spending as much as I did the years before. Near nothing.

    Our families are not into gift-giving saturated holidays. They’re just happy if I’m home and we can eat a meal together.

  14. livingmyrichlife December 10th, 2008

    We have certainly cut way back on holiday spending. In fact, we are sending no cards, buying no gifts and not decorating at all. We are in the unique position of being expats with no family nearby and no kids, so we have little pressure. Of course, we are off to Central America for three weeks, so there goes all our cash. We’ll consider that our gift to ourselves.

  15. Rebecca December 10th, 2008

    We are cutting back. Not only are we spending less than normal on the kids but we also got the extended family to agree to a Secret Santa gift exchange this year. Instead of buying for fifteen people, we will only have to buy for two.

  16. Lance December 10th, 2008

    We have tried to be somewhat frugal over the years, and so, this year will likely remain constant. So, our spending will probably not decrease. I try not to let the current economic condition affect me. So far, I’d say we’ve been lucky, as a family…

  17. Carla December 10th, 2008

    We usually don’t spend much anyway. Decor is usually just a few lights around the house. Its just the two of us so we don’t feel any pressure do the whole Xmas gift thing. His birthday is in October and mine was December 1st so we usually are already celebrated out by Christmas! We do enjoy having people over for dinner though this year we will be traveling so that probably wont happen until after New Years.

    I’m like Lance though, I try not to let the overall conditions scare me, but at the same time, I try to be mindful with my spending.

  18. TStrump December 11th, 2008

    Definitely will spend less this year.
    I think I will probably just hang out with friends and family.
    The only person who will get anything will be my nephew – he has already informed me that he wants cash!

  19. Bonnie December 11th, 2008

    I always have good intentions about staying within a strict budget and then end up spending too much. I LOVE giving gifts to people I love, though. I put a lot of thought into finding things I know they’ll be thrilled with.

    At least this year, all gifts have been bought in CASH and not on a credit card!

  20. Aman December 11th, 2008

    I am spending less, but with the currently bargains out there, I am able to purchase the same about I would normally went out for this season, if not more.

    With online specials, certain stores going under and clearing out stock. You can get many things at deep discounts if your willing to search.

  21. Jennifer (Danifer) December 12th, 2008

    I am definitely spending less this year. We are moving 5 days before Christmas and unfortunately, Christmas is the last thing on my mind. I feel very guilty, however, because I want the holiday to be memorable for my kids. With the cost of and unexpected move, the economy and bills associated with changing residence, it’s tough. I am going to try to do everything I can for my kids, but they have been warned Christmas might have to be in January.

  22. Natural December 12th, 2008

    i’m not spending at all. giving gifts is not just about money and buying stuff for people. it’s nice to do things for them too. time is the best gift there is…well one of them.

  23. Grace Kleppin December 12th, 2008

    Regifting favorite coffee mugs with small packages of locally roasted coffee. Regifting books I’ve read that I think others will like. Took a Christmas picture of my black cat, and that is going on my Christmas cards. Got materials for making personalized bookmarks, but THAT is not going to happen this year. Maybe 4th of July presents? :-) G.

  24. Abigail December 13th, 2008

    As someone who has been broke for years now (disability keeps one’s budget lean, and for the past two years, my now-husband and I were saving for a wedding/paying off his student loans) I’m spending about the same.

    But even if/when I have spare funds, I’m a big believer in getting things cheaply whenever possible. I’ll probably always shop all year for Christmas deals, including yard sales. (Where I found a fab gift, still in shrink-wrap, for my husband for $10!)

    With MyPoints, I’ll spend about $100 on hubby’s gifts. Since he doesn’t have as big a MyPoints account, his budget is higher, at $250. But my mom’s gifts have been bought for awhile, and in-laws’ gifts are all from rewards programs like MyPoints and e-rewards.

  25. doctor S December 15th, 2008

    I spending WAY less this holiday season. My entire family has been telling each other to take it easy with getting gifts for each other this holiday season. I am still getting them things but def not like I used to. Also, I have cut out the alcohol spending this month big time (18.00 so far this month!!!). Def feeling the heat of the economy and trying to save up as much liquid as I can.

  26. Chris December 19th, 2008

    I am trying to be more frugal this year. I am spending about the same amount, but I am ordering a lot of things online, and using a lot of online coupons, so I am saving money which is allowing me to get more for my money. I like that. I don’t spend a whole lot anyway, so I like to get the most for my money!

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