When it comes to our holiday finances, we like to have a budget in mind. That’s why we set a budget of $150 for this year. I had to say it was tentative to allow for other things that could pop up.
One such thing would be being approached by other relatives to split the cost for a big gift for another relative. Since we live far away, the gift is already determined by the time we are contacted. Same goes with the price. In the past, we haven’t had a say in the gift selection and are only contacted to contribute money.
It’s a very awkward position to be in. If we contribute, we spend a lot more than we wanted to spend and it doesn’t leave anything for getting gifts we may have had in mind. If we don’t contribute, then we get a bad rap because the others have to pay more since we didn’t contribute (it is often worded that we all have to contribute a fair share to make it work).
We haven’t heard about anything happening for Christmas this year. Usually we hear sometime after Thanksgiving. It is tough being a frugal family when others are not as frugal. I know there are a lot of frugal readers out there that may find themselves in a similar situation. How do you handle it? Do you contribute to keep the peace or do you have a good response to decline participation?