This year my husband and I agreed to stick to a holiday budget. As the year came to a close we refinanced both of our properties and paid quite a bit in closing costs and other mortgage related fees. We also spent nearly $2,000 on two short trips that were long overdue.
The members of our small, extended family also encountered quite a few unexpected expenses, so we all agreed to cut back on holiday purchases this season. Remarkably, my husband who absolutely loves to play the role of Santa also agreed.
My husband and I typically break down the shopping chores by family. I shop for my mom, dad, sister-in-law, nephew and niece, while he shops for his mom, dad and brother. There’s a bit of overlap in purchases but for the most part we stick to this model.
It’s much easier for me to stick to a budget, because my family tends to purchase only one or two gifts per person. My husband’s family really goes all out for Christmas and buys stacks and stacks of gifts for each other, so it’s a much bigger deal for them to cut back on purchases. I think it really helped that everyone agreed to spend less this season.
In the end my husband not only stuck to his budget but actually spent about $50 less than expected. In fact, if he hadn’t spent extra money on 2-day shipping, (a result of our late December vacation), he would have been about $150 below budget. I did my part this Christmas and came in about $130 under budget.
I think Christmas was more enjoyable this year because we focused much more on spending time with the people we love and spent much less time focusing on gifts. How about you? Did you stick to your holiday budget this season?