With Christmas around the corner, the wish lists have been written and left by the chimney for Santa, and I've been online looking for the best deals for the littlies' wish lists!
I'm getting there with the shopping, but have to admit it's hard sticking to our £100 budget for each child.
It's important to me that they have one main present each and lots of little things to open on Christmas Day. However, the main present always eats quite a lot into that £100 each budget and I find myself over-spending.
It got me thinking - is £100 unrealistic for each child? What do other parents spend on their little ones? Do we spend too much? Not enough?
So I asked you - My lovely followers on Twitter and Facebook and I was pleasantly surprised.
It's seems that the average amount spent on each child is between £50-100 for parents of more than three children, £100-150 for parents with two children, and £200-250 for a single child.
I feel a little guilty that sometimes I buy secondhand to add to their present piles - especially if it's sylvanian families or playmobil, but it seems I'm not alone! Lots of you do the same, saving the big part of the budget for the bigger, more expensive toys.
Although as Victoria from Walking Talking Polly Pocket quite rightly pointed out, buying second hand things doesn't always mean saving money.
I've bought second hand in the past as the zoo train I wanted was discontinued. Cost me more than the original, mind!
When it comes to sticking to the budget, I'm not alone in over-spending where as many of you said it just wasn't a possibility to go over-budget.
I'm half way through my Christmas shopping now. We've a big family with lots of nieces and nephews so try and stick to a budget for them all with the biggest amount spent on the littlies. I don't think that'll ever change and I know as they get older and want more expensive gifts to keep up with trends that I'll have a lot to think about.
On the Childcare is Fun Facebook page some parents said they felt pressured to keep up with trends and their children's peers, where as some said they didn't feel pressured at all.
Oz and Boo are still very young but already I have seen a change in Boos behaviour since starting pre-school. She knows what toys her friends have and I'm prepared for later on in her school years when the electronic goodies are requested.
Christmas is expensive but I find by buying throughout the year, taking advantage of bargains when I see them and budgeting, that for us, it makes it all a little easier. And it seems you'd agree - many of you budget like me, and buy throughout the year!
Danielle from Blog by Baby told me,
I buy throughout the year in sales to break up the cost, I love a bargain!
And Jo from My Monkeys Don't Sit still agreed,
I try to budget but usually go over! I buy new but look for bargains and offers!
Finally, one response made me really stop and think.
Think about what Christmas is really about. And that comment was from the lovely Kara at Chelsea Mamma.
Birthdays I spend more - they're far more special. Christmas shouldn't be about "things"
How very true that is.
So tell me lovelies ~ Christmas spends! How much do you spend on your little ones?
Fi is a full time mum of two born less than a year apart.
Fi is also a qualified nursery nurse and parent adviser. Her first book 'The baby bedtime book - say goodnight to sleepless nights' Is due out in the spring.
Blogs at: Childcare is Fun