Since I’ve completed a big chunk of my Christmas shopping, I’m checking in with my Christmas Budget to make sure I’m on track before buying the remaining presents. As it turns out, I’ve already spent a lot of money on Christmas this year compared to last!
Having a Christmas budget is one of the most important keys to having a great time during the holidays.
My Christmas Budget
Here are my categories of spending for this Christmas season:
Decorations – $50
I set myself a limit to spend $50 on decorations this year because I was starting from scratch. Unfortunately I had to move into a small location last year and gave away my Christmas decorations. This year I went ahead and bought new Christmas decor including a tree and lights. Thankfully a fake tree of a good size was only $30 on sale so I managed to get it, ornaments, lights, and a few other odds and ends for just shy of $50.
Family Gift – $25
In the last few years my family has set a new tradition of only buying one gift for the lot. None of us have a lot of extra money so it was a way for us to celebrate together and all get at least one gift without spending a lot of money. This year we decided to change it up and instead of doing Secret Santa we would do Dirty Santa. I’m not yet sure how it will work with the dynamics, but I’m glad I still only have to buy one present with a $25 max budget. It’s the best things we’ve decided for Christmas yet!
Mom Gift – $25
Because my mother is a very special lady, I get her an extra present. She always wants chocolate covered cherries for Christmas so she gets those and another special gift. The total will be under $25 and possibly even less but I think she still deserves a little something!
Partner Gifts – $100
I set a max budget of $100 for spending on for partner gifts and I’m well under that amount. In fact, even with stocking stuffers I’ll probably only end up at $75, but with several well chosen and awesome gifts in the pile. This has probably brought me the most joy in the bunch so while it’s unnecessary I’m so glad I allowed myself room to be generous and creative.
DIY Gifts – $20
I decided to make several DIY gifts for friends and family this year because it’s cheaper and more fun for me. Since my craft skills are top notch the gifts will be something that is actually useful and pretty. $20 bought the supplies to make gifts for 4 people with supplies left over for another project. Thrilled about this category of spending and the fun I’ll have with it!
Party Spending – $25
This year I’m hosting our Christmas Eve party for the family. I decided to make it a potluck style where everyone brings a dish. This way I’m only in charge of providing paper plates, napkins, cups, and a dessert. I believe I can accomplish all of that within a budget of $25 while still making it cute. My house is already decorated for Christmas after all!
Wrapping Spending – $10
So far I had to buy 4 rolls of Christmas wrapping paper, tape, and gift tags. I’m still under my $10 budget because I’ve bought all of these things at The Dollar Tree. Surprisingly they have rather cute Christmas wrapping paper. I’m considering going the day after Christmas and stocking up on half price wrapping paper and items for next year so this category will scale up in cuteness and down in price.
Total Spending – $255
That’s a lot of extra spending this month considering my situation with limited income. It’s a bit scary to think I’ve spent so much on what could be looked at as frivolous purchases. However, I love Christmas and really didn’t want to check out of the festivities this year just because of money. I consciously chose to spend in certain areas and avoid others. I know in January I’ll either get a full time job or start temping so the money flow problem is temporary but I’ll have wonderful Christmas memories from this year forever.
Why You Need A Christmas Budget
As you can see, Christmas spending $25 here and there suddenly leads you to spending hundreds of dollars! Even if you have a lot of frugal Christmas traditions, it can get out of hand quickly.
Setting a Christmas budget is a great way to keep your spending reigned in and on track. I’ve been spending a lot but still haven’t gone over the amounts I set for myself because I’ve checked in with my spending and my budget and told myself no on a few purchases. There are so many shiny, pretty, cute, fun things for sale this time of year that there have to be some decisions not to spend money. Walking into stores is a trap for impulse buys without a budget!