How Much for Gifts?

Dear Mary,

What percentage of our monthly income should or can be allotted to Christmas gift giving? Michele, Florida

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Dear Michele,

Because gifts are a non-essential expense, I can’t give you a number. You can do this by first determining how much you intend to spend on Christmas. Let’s say it’s $600. Divide by the number of paychecks you will be getting between now and then. If it’s only a few, you’ll need to save a big chunk from each check. But if you’re thinking of Christmas 2013, you have the entire year to save. If you get paid say, twice each month, then as little as $25 from each paycheck will reach the goal of $600.