OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD 2012

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$500 Holiday Challenge



I am joining Sharon at  My Year of Spending Less and Living More  as well as Penny at "The Saved Quarter" in  the $500 Christmas Challenge.  Now, if you checked out the links you will see that Penny did a remarkable job at only spending $100 dollars for Christmas.  I am more comfortable with using Sharon's benchmark of $500 for my challenge limit.

I will be incorporating money saving techniques that Penny has used such as Swagbucks, Groupon, Living Social and My Coupon.  For the month of January, using my earned Swagbucks, I  have already earned $25 in Amazon Gift Cards.   I hope to do that every month,so by the end of the year I will have  $325 dollars in Amazon Gift Cards.

Penny at The Saved Quarter has managed to put together an impressive gift giving list that is definitely worth more than $100 dollars.  She has managed to strategically use her gift cards, mystery shopping and thrifty ways to acquire great gifts for her friends and family.

To date, I have not yet bought anything for Christmas.  But check back on the Tabs up above. I will keep that page updated with my upcoming purchases.  I  so excited to get started with this challenge!!

You all can join along too!  What do ya say??

15 comments:

jpkittie said...

I'm planning on $600 for Christmas :)

Lisa @Cents To Save said...

Hi jpkittie,

I originally budgeted 1000.00 for Christmas this year... I am going to try to keep it at least "close" to 500 dollars.... If I start early enough and not wait til the last minute again.

Niki said...

I love this idea. I am not sure though because I want a stand mixer so bad and that would be half of the $500. We budget so that we should have $1200, but that just seems like way too much. Ahhh I don't know what to do.

Jane said...

My goal is to save $1500 which seems pretty extravagent compared to your numbers, however that is also for birthday gifts/wedding gifts throughout the year. I know I have 3 weddings this summer laready so I'm still going to try to save that much as last year I saved $800 just for Christmas and that wasn't quite enough! The kicker is that I take my DD on a weekend trip before Christmas so that is included in the total.
Good luck and I'll be watching your progress!

Jan said...

I have a cash gift envelope for all gifts throughout the year, but never have enough, and I don't give extravagant gifts. I'm going to start a separate Christmas cash envelope this year.

Lisa @Cents To Save said...

Niki @ yes those mixers are expensive and if that is what you really want you should get one! Check out the www.pioneerwoman.com , she has random drawings for them once in awhile. You never know, you might get lucky!!

Jane@ my original Christmas budget was 1000.00 because that's what I spent last year.....at the last minute. I neither planned nor budgeted, and it was expensive. I sm hoping that by starting early I can save a large amount.

I also have a burthday,baby shower,anniversary gift account started too. That is budgeted at 500 dollars for now.

Jan@ yep, the earlier you start for Christmas the better prepared you will be!!

halfdozendaily said...

That's awesome!!! Honestly, I don't know that I could do $500 for Christmas and all other occasions. I've cut my Xmas budget down to $1250 for 2011 and that's HALF of what I spent for this past Christmas. *blush* I am paring down birthday's a lot though.. no more $200 gifts... my goal is a lot of handmade gifts this year which should really help with my budget!

MorethanMom said...

Thank you so much for posting this!
With four teenagers, there is no way I could do a $100 challenge Xmas(if they were younger, yes, but now, not so much).
Hmmm.

Sharon said...

Lisa,

I'm still trying to figure out how to get enough points (Swagbucks)for one card. I'm at 154 pts. and I've tried everyone's suggestions, but I can't seem to get it to work.

I'm hoping to be able to get some free stuff to make Christmas only $500. That would be absolutely amazing. It'll be great having you do this too. I'll be leaning on you a lot! :)!

The Saved Quarter said...

$500 is totally doable! The value of your gifts doesn't have to be $500 to keep your out of pocket spending so low. There are a lot of ways to stack deals to get more for less, even on things older kids would like.

For example, right now there are money maker deals on Nature Made vitamins at Rite Aid. This post explains the deal:
http://www.livingrichwithcoupons.com/2011/01/rite-aid-nature-made-deal-plus-lots-of-scenarios.html

The UP+ rewards could then be used toward items that a teenager might be interested in - iTunes gift cards, for example. Then sell the vitamins on EBay and use that money and the mail-in-rebate cash to buy an iPod (maybe refurbished on discount?) to go with the iTunes gift card.

The idea is to think outside the box and find alternative ways of getting the items you would already buy. If you just walk into the store and buy an iPod and iTunes gift card, of course you'll spend more than $500 - that's only one gift and you could easily be half way through your budget!

roy said...

Wow I've never spent close to $500 for X'mas. I just train my friends and family that gifts aren't about the exchange of material objects.

I'm sure they'd rather get a physical gift though, haha.

onedegreebelow said...

Hi there!
I just found your blog and will be adding it to my Blogroll for sure!

I'm so glad you're doing the $500 Holiday Challenge! I found it a few days ago on Sharon's blog and have since posted my own version. I haven't seen hardly any other PF bloggers seeming to participate, so I'm excited to check in on your progression...

My tip for another way to come in under budget is to use points from your bank/credit card. My husband and I have USAA so everytime we use our bank card as a credit card, we get points that add up to get everything you can think of- gift cards, travel, cash back, etc.

I love it because it's all money we were spending anyway on things like groceries and utilities and whatever. I think everyone should make sure they're signed up for such a program, as a lot of companies are doing it these days.

roy said...

Wow I've never spent close to $500 for X'mas. I just train my friends and family that gifts aren't about the exchange of material objects.

I'm sure they'd rather get a physical gift though, haha.

Lisa @Cents To Save said...

Niki @ yes those mixers are expensive and if that is what you really want you should get one! Check out the www.pioneerwoman.com , she has random drawings for them once in awhile. You never know, you might get lucky!!

Jane@ my original Christmas budget was 1000.00 because that's what I spent last year.....at the last minute. I neither planned nor budgeted, and it was expensive. I sm hoping that by starting early I can save a large amount.

I also have a burthday,baby shower,anniversary gift account started too. That is budgeted at 500 dollars for now.

Jan@ yep, the earlier you start for Christmas the better prepared you will be!!

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