Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Frugal Challenge-Sticking to a Christmas Budget

Every year I always exceed what I had planned on spending for Christmas. You know you have an extra person or two, you spent more than you should on someone. So this year I created my list. A column of everyone that I needed to buy for. Then I figured out how much I was going to spend in total. I then prioritized the list and decided how much I could spend on each category dividing each category with the money allotted to it.
1) My kids (Hubby and I bought new dining chairs for Christmas)
2) Our family
3) Friends
4) Teachers and other extra little gifts needed.

Now doing it this way made me adjust down some of the amounts I thought I could spend all the while staying within my money allotted for each gift category. So much easier for me to know exactly when I am shopping what the maximum amount is I could spend on each present. That notation is next to each name on my list. I also realized I could maybe make something like a baked good or meal for a few older neighbors. This is something they might enjoy more than anything I could buy. So far so good.

Linking to:
Time Warp Wife
Coastal Charm
Raising Homemakers
Women Living Well


Cottage and Broome said...

You will have to report back if you stuck to your budget and list at the end of the season. I seem to lose mine or go off budget about half way thru the season. Laura

Walking on Sunshine... said...

I have no clue what I'm getting anyone or spending. I'm so far behind this! Good for you for being organized!!! Enjoy your day!

Kim said...

Advice we could all use - thanks Elaine. My problem is there are always a few that I forget about altogether and remember at the last minute. I also have a recurring dream that it's Christmas Eve and I forgot to do all of my shopping. I know, I have issues!

Linda said...

Lists are my thing too...I have been doing it for years! I make so many gifts and that helps with the costs...and I start early too...especially with the socking stuffers...thsoe can add up!My neighbors and us always exchange food type things that are hand made...cookies, tamales, herb and oil mixes...it's alot of fun and isn't that what it's all about! Have a good time with your shopping!!

Ursula said...

How do I agree...I grew with lists and which making decisions on which/who is on top. At times it makes it easier to keep focus on what is importen and what can do with small but thougtfullness. And yes do write about the results and how it worked for you.
Thank you for sharing

Daisy said...

What a great idea! I think I might try that this year.

Beth said...

wish you luck on sticking with your budget. lucky the hubby & i have had several family member say they are cutting back & no gift giving this year. it has been nice to hear considering we are trying to cut back as well. keep us posted. (:

Cindy said...

I usually decide each year what we can spend on the kids. We don't do much gifting with friends, except my best girlfriends. And I make so many gifts for all the rest, it helps.

Have fun with your shopping! Does you husband go with you? Mine will go with me one time and that's it for him. But I don't mind, it's our division of labor:)

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

I have had pretty good success sticking to Christmas budgets because we never buy our kids more than three gifts (Jesus only got three...and my kids are not God).

If I mess up it is usually buying last minute hostess gifts. That's where I go wrong because I don't allot enough time to bake something or find a good deal on a nice hostess gift.

Kris said...

Sounds like a great way to do it Elaine! We are doing it simpler this year. Focusing on the little one's mainly. I just read your past two posts. Love the trees, and your decorating! So homey. I haven't done a darn thing yet. I have been cleaning this week, and I put away my Fall stuff in preparation for Christmas decor. But feeling so crummy for so long has really put a monkey wrench in my plans!!

Amy said...

Having a Christmas budget along with a gift list makes a lot of sense. I know it's so easy to focus on the gifts and go overbudget.

Visiting from Time Warp Wife!

Debbie Kay said...

Great idea Elaine, thank you for the motivation to "budget". I need it!



Sweet Bee Cottage said...

Great idea! I will have to follow your excellent advice. (I must confess though, sometimes I blow my budget buying Christmas decorations......they can be so irresistible!)

❁Velma ~Down Our Country Road❁ said...

My hubby is a real stickler for staying in budget! We basically only buy for our children, kids-in-law and grandchildren with each getting the same amount. Makes it easy.

We don't have teachers and such to buy for. I try to have something homemade, such as baked goods, on hand for the unexpected gifts..if I can catch the mailman or the UPS person. And then to our neighbors across the road.

The stocking stuffers are the most unexpected. I usually take that out of my grocery money. And then there's the decorations...... :)


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