Entering The Season of Wanton Spending

The end of the year is always problematic for my budget.  From Halloween until January first, it’s an endless orgy of parties and shopping and family activities.  Every party seems to demand a new dress.  Every gift for the people I love seems inadequate, so what solution can there be but to spend more?  Since everyone is coming closer to home, there are more outings – and of course, those always cost money.

Here are some expenses I’ve already incurred, and just the ones I foresee i the future.

October

$200 for paintball and assorted Halloween activities, for 2.

You guys, they charge $0.04 per paintball.  I did not know this! I probably shot around $40 worth of paintballs.  So. worth. it.

November

We’re going to THE football game of the year for Penn State.  Unfortunately, THE game means we paid out the ass for tickets, and overnight accomodations weren’t cheap.  We got a great price for everything (sharing a house with like 14 people does cut down on costs), but still, the total is a bit high.  I can’t not go, though, and if we win, it will all be worth it.

$260 for 2 tickets and a parking pass

$300 for 2 people at the house for 2 nights.

$200 for miscellaneous things, like drinking (but I recall being able to get a pitcher of Long Island Iced tea for $5, so maybe not), food, and the near-certain purchase of some PSU paraphranalia during our visit.

Then, of course, we get to Thanksgiving, which shouldn’t be too bad.  Tolls up to NY are still like $20, and there’s gas and everything.  Still cheaper than flying in from Los Angeles!

Chad’s sister is having her baby shower, and I’m excited to have my first niece.  I kind of want to go crazy with the gift – I’m bad at remembering gift giving, so I figure if I can get something good up front, that will cover me up until the first birthday.

$300 for the baby shower gift, maybe?  I really don’t know what’s appropriate.  Anyone who knows these things, let me know!

December

$600 for gifts.  I always set this amount, and I always go over a little bit, but this is because my parents & my sister have their birthdays around this time too.  Please refer to where I said that my gifts just never seem like enough.

$100 for a dress for my comapny holiday party.  This I can probably skip.  I have a red dress that is just about perfect for this kind of thing, and I’ve only worn it like… twice, ever.

$200 for holiday events, like the Hershey Park Christmas Candy Lane.  Also for anything else that might come up.

January

$250 for New Year’s.  TBH, most of this will probably be spent on a new dress.  (I CAN’T STOP MYSELF!)

I’ve never really bothered to set up a budget for stuff this time of year.  It’s the only time my whole family gets together, so it seems silly to miss those experiences just to save a couple of bucks.  I’m good almost all year, and that means I can afford to loosen the old purse strings for stuff like this.

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10 Responses

  1. When I read “wanton” I thought of WONTONS.. which immediately made me hungry.

    Moving on, at least you have your expenses mapped out! 🙂 That’s not so bad.

    $250 for a new dress? Ooo.. are you going to post the pics of what you’re considering here? 😀

  2. Which game is THE game? PSU vs. OSU? I hope you destroy OSU. There used to be a time when the PSU v. Michigan game was THE game. I hope it gets back to that. This year’s game was very, very ugly for us :(.

  3. I totally agree that budgets can, and almost should, (within SOME reason! 🙂 fly out the window this time of year. Money spent on gifts for family and friends and, if necessary, travel to visit them is money well spent.

    On the other hand, I think $300 is WAY too much for a baby gift. I think $100 would be more than enough, unless you get them something awesome or much needed off their registry that exceeds that amount to a certain degree. But I still wouldn’t spend $300! (Then again, I don’t have any nieces or nephews yet, so I might feel differently then!)

  4. I feel you! This time of year gets sooo expensive and you never mean to, but you end up spending money just because you’re doing things.

    Also, I think $300 is way too much for a baby gift. I like to think of baby gifts and wedding gifts as the same: the closer you are with the person, the more you’ll be expected to spend.

  5. I also think $300 is a lot to spend on a shower gift. You can find a great gift for much less. And you can also spend less on a New Year’s dress? That could keep you on a budget without sacrificing anything at all.

  6. For a baby shower gift I got my oldest friend the designer diaper bag she was coveting, not really a gift for the baby though. The bag was about $250, but I wanted to spoil her and I knew everyone else would be focusing on the baby, not mama. I wouldn’t go crazy on fancy baby stuff cause they outgrow it in like a week. Also the baby won’t remember any of this stuff, wait till niece is older and can have memories of cool things with auntie.

  7. Agreed, $300 is a LOT unless you’re going for something like I would: contribution to the college fund and something for mom. I did spend ~$70 on a mom gift at the shower, and then a handful of cute clothing and a lot of bibs. Lots of practical, long-lasting things, really, since honestly the baby won’t remember and it comes down to what the parents can use. My girlfriend told me recently that she couldn’t believe it but THE most useful gift she got was a year-long supply of batteries. Not having to go out for something simple but necessary like that really made a difference when she was running ragged.

  8. For my sibling, I got the first baby a nice $60 gift plus a $100 target gift card (for diapers and useful stuff!). For the second one, uh, I think they only got blankets actually. I mean, she didn’t need so much “first baby” stuff, and I missed the shower. Ok, I don’t recommend that one, that was bad on my part.

    For semi-close friends and aunts and random relatives, I find $50-$75 appropriate.

  9. […] for too long.  Maybe “real adults” should be spending more.  I kind of thought $300 for a baby shower gift was slightly insane.  But maybe it isn’t.  Maybe I’m the one who is slightly […]

  10. It really does depend though — I’m sure in some circles $300 plus is totally normal. can you find out what other people are spending? Or guess based on her registry what she expects?

    I personally wouldn’t spend that much because it would probably be the largest present at the shower by kind of a lot (except for from the grandparents of the baby– they seem to spoil hard core) and that would make me a bit uncomfortable.

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