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Giving gifts never gets old.
It’s always fun to see a loved one’s eyes light up as they open a special Christmas gift you snagged just for them. You can’t help but smile too.
While your enjoyment of the season doesn’t change as you get older, how you spend your money definitely does. It’s a lot like the 7 Baby Steps, actually. You start small, and as you’re able, you pour more of the resources God’s given you into generous giving.
That’s why we think Christmas only gets better with age. Now we know Christmas is still a couple months away, but it’s never too early to start saving for Christmas! But first, you have to know what your budget will be.
Just for fun, we made a list of Christmas budgets from your teen years to your retirement years. Wherever you are right now, we wish you the sweetest of celebrations for the upcoming Christmas season!
Teens: You’re focused on buying clothes and gadgets for your BFFs. You don’t have a care in the world because bills aren’t in the picture yet and your part-time job provides a constant stream of fun money. Christmas is just another excuse to spend a few extra hours at the mall with your pals.
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20s: Ah, this is a weird time when it comes to money. You’re working full time trying to pay for the duplex you’re splitting with three other people. Way to be an adult. It’s safe to say you’re not exactly bringing in the big bucks. Your roomies may get a homemade card if they’re lucky—and the heating bill doesn’t go up.
Related: 3 Inexpensive Gifts You Can Make With Household Items
30s: Christmas is all about the kids now: your kids, your sister’s kids, your brother’s kids, your friend’s kids. But you have to draw the line with the amount of gifts you can buy and give! Your young family is still in the planning stages of life and expenses are high (read: kids). But there’s nothing quite like watching wide-eyed little ones tear into wrapping paper. So worth it.
40s: Christmas is still about the kids, but instead of teddy bears and Tonka trucks, your tweens and teens want cell phones and laptops. Good thing your income is keeping up with their maturing taste—unless that taste includes a new car. That’s so not happening.
Related: How to Talk to Your Kids About Money
50s: Family time is your focus now. With the kids away at college most of the year, you love spending time together at Christmas. Gifts become less about stuff and more about sharing experiences, like renting a cozy cabin or heading out on a holiday lights tour. This is the good stuff. And it’s what you’ve been missing as they’ve been off studying (at least you hope they have!).
60+: Let’s be honest: Kids are great, but grandkids are stinking awesome. Who can resist those cuddly fat rolls and first steps? They just melt your heart. Now that you’re retired, or thinking about retirement, you have some extra time and cash again to spoil your grandbabies with toys, trips and treats. And you wouldn’t have it any other way. You’re absolutely smitten.
Related: 4 Ways to Influence the Spending Habits of Your Grandkids
No matter which season of life you will be in this Christmas, give as generously as your budget allows. And remember to slow down and focus on those sweet smiles and precious memories. They’re the best.
Need an easy way to budget for Christmas? Check out our free budget tool EveryDollar.