Thursday, January 21, 2010

Christmas Money

In our house, there are two styles of dealing with money that is given to us as Christmas gifts. One of us sits down at the computer and pulls up a fresh spreadsheet. Then, each gift listed on one side of the page and ideas for spending it is listed on the other side. Columns are made to record what was bought with each gift, what part of it has been spent, and what part remains for dreaming. The other one of us deposits the money in the bank and half forgets about it until it becomes useful for justifying an occasional splurge.

Now, at the word spreadsheet, you might think the first was me, but it's not. The one who meticulously plans out how his Christmas gift money is spent is Brian.

However, after looking back over how I spent my Christmas gifts from last year (Did I? Oh yeah - new Danskos were bought in the name of Christmas!), Brian is converting me to his way of doing things. He even copied his spreadsheet for me.

So now, what to spend it on! A few ideas have been rattling around my brain. First, Brian and I have been talking about whether we'd like a Wii, and I think we're going to take the plunge.

Another thing I've been considering is how I can teach myself to do this:

It's called wholecloth quilting, and while I appreciate many types of quilts, this is the only one that I've ever wanted to try.

And lastly, I've been thinking about replacing our cd player. My old one has started to get opinionated about what cds we listen to - sometimes, it just stops playing in the middle of one.

So, I'm curious - what type of Christmas money spender are you? Do you save it carefully for just the right thing, or do you tend to stick it in your wallet and forget about it? For a quick answer, vote in the poll to the right; or you can vote and also leave a comment if you like!


Poppy and Marmee said...

I read your blog and voted. When Daddy came home, I thought I'd see how he would vote. Smart alex - the computer said "This computer has already voted. It is allowed to vote only once for this poll."

Aly sun said...

I spend Christmas/birthday money over and over again until I get caught. Too bad my Mr. Spreadsheet is a quick study to my ways. Have fun!

Robby said...

I voted, but here's an explanation, too. Any gift money to Ron or me that is not spent immediately goes into our checking or savings account, but I keep track of it in our Money program; we each have our own "account" that we can draw from. Ron tends to spend his sooner. I tend to save for a splurge, as when I bought my camera. Even though I might not spend gift money for years, I like knowing that I can buy something if I want to. (I tend to save gift certificates, too, until I see something I really want.) Of course, there are downsides to this method: First, if I do buy something expensive, I may still wince as it goes out of our real account. And second, if emergencies come up and we need to use the money, our real accounts don't distiquish between household and gift money. Maybe I need Brian's spreadsheet!

Sarah said...

I'd say both, so I didn't vote in the poll. This year every penny of Christmas money was spent on bills. Last year I stretched it out all year buying a retro kitchen scale, Anthropologie clothes and little fun doo dads for months. I'd prefer to have it set aside and kept track of for treats and justifiable splurges. But it's nice to have electricity too.

deanna said...

I have a different category: "Having spent it in my mind ahead of time, I immediately buy the gift!" (We receive fairly predictable gift money amounts.)

katiewoo13 said...

I usually have some grand plan for my christmas money, like "I'm going to get a subscription to Balloon Magazine (a balloon artist's dream!)" or "I'm going to take a painting class." But in reality is usually goes to bills. This year I haven't spent it yet, so maybe I'll employ one of the methods outlined in these here comments.