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We Had a Budget for Christmas, But I’m Not Sure Where it Went


We deviated from our normal family Christmas, and instead of making dinner at home we ventured out and had dinner at a friend’s house. While it was nice, and we appreciated being invited, I think next year we are going back to making our own Christmas dinner. We usually have ham and homemade cheesy potatoes, and I still find myself hungering for that meal.

Anyways, since this is a personal finance blog, I should divulge that we totally blew our budget for Christmas. We thought we’d spend about $150 on our son, but it ended up being more. The most expensive gift we purchased was $35, but by the time you add up all of the stocking stuffers and batteries (oh, my…those batteries), it quickly became a lot more.

I do not have the official numbers yet, because I am still waiting to receive my husband’s receipts. But, I know it is close to $250.

Overall, the total for all Christmas gift spending is more than $500. I’m thinking it will easily be around $600 total this year when everything is entered. Thank goodness we received a total of $350 in Christmas bonuses. That helped tremendously.

This is the first Christmas that we’ve had since embarking on this debt reduction journey, and I really thought we would have done better than we did with our spending. I will have to spend some time looking at where we went wrong.


  • Reply Tricia |

    Good question. I believe we would have spent more without a budget. And the damage would have been even worse if we weren’t committed to reducing our debt.

    I am currently running reports to see how much we’ve spent other years. It is very interesting so far, to say the least. I’m going to try to post a report on it.

  • Reply CPA1298 |

    I wouldn’t feel too bad. $500-$600 isn’t terrible, and it could have been a lot worse. People on a diet plan need to have ‘splurge’ days so that they can they focus on their weight-loss, and remember how bad it feels to be out of control. This is a good way to start the new year with redoubled determination and focus. I’m proud of your debt reduction to date; you’re an inspiration for all of who sing “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go”

  • Reply 2SpottedDogs |

    I think you’re doing great, all things considered. Like the first commenter said, how would this have compared to a no-budget year? And you’ve already isolated something you can learn from: batteries are budget-busters. Maybe this coming year you can keep an eye out for batteries when they are on sale and stockpile them when they are discounted to avoid having to buy lot$ of those pesky AAs on Christmas eve. I’m really inspired by your posts, so just keep plugging away!

  • Reply sf mom |

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Clean the slate, make peace with spending over your budget, and do better next time.
    BTW, think about investing in rechargable batteries. We have AA and AAA rechargables. We have extras to recharge while we are using the first set. It’s been fantastic for our daughter’s toys, cameras, remotes, etc.
    Good luck! And a very merry Christmas season to you.
    sf mom

  • Reply GInger |

    I am glad you had a Merry Christmas enjoy your son now becauce it is so lonely when they are older. Anyway maybe what you can do is in Jan. go under budget on something to compensate for December. Thanks again for your blog! Ginger

  • Reply Jen |

    I wouldn’t beat yourself up over going over budget…. After all, you did less damage with a budget! Also, those little things like batteries are easy to forget when you’re making the budget. But, now you know for next year!

    Also, now might be a good time to take inventory of the other Christmas supplies – wrapping paper, cards, gift tags, etc. That way you can know if you’ll need to buy more for next year. This would allow you to either budget for next year, or buy the stuff now at 50% off 🙂

  • Reply debt monster |

    Batteries sure are expensive.. about 3.99 for a 4 pack of AA or AAA. I checked because I received a large box of Energizer AA and AAA batteries as a “White Elephant” gift at work. I was so happy because I have kids with toys that need batteries and remote controls. It was about a $60 value.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I wish you a financially great 2007 from a fellow NCN Network member!

So, what do you think ?