How Much Do You Spend On Your Kids At Christmas?

Each year I create a 10 Week Christmas Plan to help manage the workload of the festive season. I like to make gifts and make homemade treats, activities that take a bit of time, so planning in advance means I can do these things without the stress of the last minute rush.

This year’s plan looks like this:

  • 10 weeks to go – Christmas budget (below!)
  • 9 weeks to go – Christmas present ideas for kids
  • 8 weeks to go – Christmas present ideas for health and fitness fanatics
  • 7 weeks to go – Christmas traditions
  • 6 weeks to go – Christmas menu plans
  • 5 weeks to go – Handmade Christmas decorations
  • 4 weeks to go – Christmas printables
  • 3 weeks to go – Making Christmas gifts for friends
  • 2 weeks to go – Christmas party treats
  • 1 Week to go – Tips on how to be a good house guest at Christmas
  • 0 weeks to go – Spirit of Christmas

Updating The Christmas budget

As the budget review process doesn’t actually change, nor does the spreadsheet I use, this part is the similar to a previous years.


I have found the best was to keep expenditure under control at this time of the year is to have a budget and track expenditure against it. This is what our Christmas Budget Spreadsheet looks like:

Christmas Budget Spreadsheet

We have another spreadsheet that is integral to keeping us on budget. It tracks expenditure on all Christmas presents, for family and friends. Also by documenting what presents we buy each year, we have a comprehensive list to refer to, preventing buying people the same thing year after year.

Christmas Present Spreadsheet 2010

Both of these spreadsheets can be found in the one file and you can download a template here 2013 Planning With Kids Christmas Planning Spreadsheet.

I have added protection to the cells in the spreadsheets that have formulas, to prevent any accidental overriding. It is not password protected, so if you wish to unprotect these cells, just go to “Tools”, then “Protection’ and then “Unprotect sheet” (this is for excel on a Mac.).

How Much Do You Spend On Your Kids At Christmas?

One of the most common questions I receive during my 10 week Christmas planning process each year from readers is how much do I spend on my kids for Christmas?

Our approach can change each year depending on what type of gifts are going to be delivered by Santa. Some year bikes are needed, or a big item like a trampoline or iPad may be bought for the children to share.

On years when there is no large items, I try to cap spending at $75 per child. I won’t necessarily spend exactly that much on each child, but aim for the value to be around that. This means that if I am a savvy shopper and pick up items on sale, I won’t necessarily keep spending more just so the kids have the exact same dollar amount spent on them.

But rather than just see what I do, like I did with food expenditure, I thought it would be good to see what others spend on their kids at Christmas.

Below is a short survey {please click here for the survey if you are reading via email} that I would love if you could complete. I will share the results next week. Thanking you in advance, Nic