Holiday Budget: Yes, No, I Don’t Think So
Around the holidays you may as well call my husband Santa. Ten years ago, (shortly after graduating from college), he thought nothing of spending thousands of dollars on electronics for the whole family. In the blink of an eye he opened his wallet and showered his loved with gifts.
Although he claims to dislike Christmas, (because of all of the pressure of gift giving), I think deep down he really loves finding that perfect gift.
Last year, I asked my husband to cut back on holiday expenses. We took a few short trips in December that cost nearly $2,000 and refinanced both of our mortgages, which sacked us with heavy closing costs. A few members of our extended family also encountered hefty end-of-year expenses so we all agreed to spend less on the holidays. Somehow or another my husband willingly agreed to cut back too.
After the holidays were over we tallied up the holiday gift giving costs and realized that my husband actually spent $50 less than we allotted. He would’ve saved another $100 if he had ordered items in advance, but due to a few last minute Amazon orders he got whacked with quite a few expedited shipping fees.
This year I figured we’d trim the holiday budget all over again, but at the mention of cutting expenses my husband groaned. The truth is my family sticks to a much more modest Christmas list. Each family member receives one gift from every other family member and we typically spend between $25 and $50 on each gift.
Christmas at my husband’s family house does not work quite the same way. When we arrive at my in-laws house on Christmas morning we are inundated with stacks of gifts. My mother-in-law really goes all out for the holidays. She likes to make sure we love each and every one of our gifts and truth be told she always seems to find the perfect things for each of us.
This year I’m not sure if I can convince my husband to cut back on spending again. I can tell by the groan in his voice and the grumble in his tone that he does not want to stick to a holiday budget. In general he doesn’t like to be told what to do and when it comes to money he really does not like to be limited in his options.
I don’t want to take all the fun out of his Santa like ways, so this year I might let him decide on his own spending plan and just see where that takes us. I don’t think I need to limit his spending too much. He knows that I’m not a fan of extravagant gift giving, so I might just have to trust his better judgement.