Merry Christmas, everyone! Christmas is a great time of the year. Everyone is in such high spirits, but it can also be a financially stressful time. I hope you went easy on the gifts especially if you have any consumer debt. Currently we don’t have any consumer debt, but we still went relatively cheap on gifts this year.
Baby RB40 is 22 months old now and he isn’t demanding specific toys for Christmas yet. He likes playing with Tupperware containers, acorns from the park, and empty Colgate toothbrush boxes. We went to Toys ‘R Us last Friday so he could look around. He liked playing with all the toys there, especially those with buttons to push, but he wasn’t particularly attached to anything. That was good because I wasn’t planning to buy anything from there anyway. 🙂 He liked one Sesame Street car with Elmo as the driver, but at $7, it was quite expensive for a small toy car. I’ll keep an eye out on Craigslist for his birthday in a couple of months.
We opened gifts a bit early this year because my dad was heading back to Thailand on the 23rd. Check out what Baby RB40 got for Christmas.
I got him a mix of new and used toys.
$2.50 – Bubble Popper Push Toy
He actually got this one early because we happened to be at Goodwill. He found it in the toy pile, pushed it all around the store, and wouldn’t let go.
$25 – Bilibo (an imagination toy). Kids are supposed to use their imagination and figure out what to do with it. So far, he sat on and in it, rolled balls around in it, and looked through the eye holes. He seems to like it. If it doesn’t work out, we can always use it as a fruit bowl and it will be a conversation starter. I had showed Mrs. RB40 an amusing review of the toy when I was web surfing. She didn’t think that I was actually going to buy it, so she was surprised when she was greeted by a delivery from Amazon upon returning from work.
Mrs. RB40 made him something and got him some new items.
$5 – I Spy Little Christmas. He loves the I Spy books and they are great for us parents to interact with him when reading to him. This was actually an impulse buy. She wanted to get him a book, just not at the time she was shopping for something else.
$1.49 – Crayons. What kid doesn’t need new crayons? His old ones were the ones used to keep kids busy in restaurants.
$Priceless – Alphabet blocks. Mrs. RB40, who happens to be an origami enthusiast, made him a set of 15 alphabet blocks out of paper and stickers that that she already had on hand. Baby RB40 can stack them or throw them without causing damage to anything or anyone who happens to be within range.
Of course, his grandparents got him more stuff as well: A talking book (recorded by his step grandmother), a talking bear (did not work so it is getting returned to the retailer), Holgate Jumbo Lacing Beads, animal DVDs, 2 Christmas-themed pop-up books, and sesame sticks (snacks).
All in all, the kid made out like a bandit this year. I guess we weren’t all that frugal, but at least we kept it under $50. Christmas is a lot more fun with a kid around. He liked unwrapping the presents and hoarding them (he thought the ones for his grandparents were his, too) under the tree. Watching his face light up along with the Christmas tree was the best thing. We all enjoyed the day and I hope you have a great holiday as well.
For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.
Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.