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Holiday budget as an attending?

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  • Holiday budget as an attending?

    I know I’m still six months away but I’m a new attending and starting to look at my budget/expenses with the new financial change in my life. I’m fortunate that I have a positive net worth already and am in a well paying specialty. My wife isn’t super frugal but also doesn’t spend like crazy either. Xmas is a big deal for her as it was her moms favorite holiday before passing. So I’m curious what others budget for gifts for the holidays for...
    Children (I currently have one young kiddo)
    Parents (would be my parents and her dad)
    Other family members: siblings, nieces, nephews, etc

  • #2
    spouse: whatever she wants with me complaining all the way.

    kids: none. but my parents gave us a budget once we were old enough to get our own presents. why not an experience vs more things?

    parents: usually something like 20, or a card. they dont really want things. but if my mother mentioned anything then yes, that.

    siblings: cash. unless they had a specific thing they wanted, usually <100.

    other family: thats it. end of list.


    • #3
      We've got 3 kids.  We don't have a set budget for each as they have different needs, expectations, and views of material objects.  I would happily just get my them a bunch of empty boxes to play around with but I don't think my wife will go for that (my older two ages 9 and 4 can get really creative with empty boxes).

      I am a big believer in NOT buying the kids several objects/toys, but Christmas belongs to my wife so I only have so much say in what we do (not that I am silent on the topic, just not driving the decisions).

      I did try something new this year to budget for holiday gifts -- I started putting all my credit card cash back rewards into a separate savings account that I'll use to pay for holiday expenses.  After 6 months I'm up to $1000 (and that's with 1-2 months of putting charges onto Southwest Cards to get sign on bonuses instead of getting cash back) so that will help lower my stress level related to holiday costs. We also will buy for her parents, brother, and some extended family.  Sometimes we host a family gathering at our house so the food bill adds up, etc.

      We won't actually spend close to $1000 on the kids (and doubtful even that much if we host a party), but it'll be nice to have money set aside for the total costs and to keep it in reserve.  Since we also celebrate Muslim holidays I can dip into it for that as well. 
      An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family


      • #4
        For my wife it's generally whatever she wants but she isn't a big spender so that's usually not more than a few hundred dollars. Sometimes we'll do something to the house that we've been wanting to do and that'll be several thousand but I feel that makes a lousy Christmas present since it benefits us both.


        For extended family, we've gotten to the point where we stop doing gifts for parents and siblings and just donate money to the charity of each person's choosing. We still get the kids gifts but usually spend <$40 each.


        • #5
          You are probably going to get a wide range of answers here as everyone does it different. I think it's stupid to buy gifts for adults in general and we have like a thousand nieces and nephews so we don't do individual gifts for them either. I do like to do a family gift for my siblings and their families- usually under $100/family ( I have 5 siblings) and an edible or gift card to a restaurant for my parents ( they have enough junk in their home and I refuse to add to the pile). My FIL still compiles a Christmas wish list which I find odd, but we get him something off the list. My husband doesn't do gifts for his 3 siblings ( for some reason I can't really remember anymore). We don't have a budget for the kids but I'm a minimalist so we don't go crazy either. And I do like the challenge of trying to find something for my husband that he won't hate so I spend a variable amount on him. I also get gifts for the ladies that clean our house and our nanny in the amount of one weeks pay, roughly. Overall I try to keep it under 2k.