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Where did the Christmas money go?


I complained a few blogs ago about my inability to part with our budgeted Christmas money. Two years of no Christmas spending has formed some serious tightwad habits – and not in a good way.

I did buy a couple gift cards to restaurants for my siblings and I bought a shirt on sale for my husband. He also asked for a few small tools to add to his work bench so I stopped by the hardware store and bought him a gift card. I was $50 under budget and extremely proud of myself.

Shortly before Christmas, my husband called me at work and asked how much was left in the Christmas budget. When I told him, he asked if he could donate it to Rady Children’s Hospital. He had been listening to the radiothon all week and felt the kids needed it more than we did.

We donate a set amount to charity each month and in my compulsiveness, I hadn’t even thought to be more generous over the holidays.

I have become the Christmas Scrooge.

We gave the last $50 to Children’s Hospital.

Fortunately for me, I married a compulsive giver. Somewhere in the middle, I think we’ll turn out OK. Maybe next year, I’ll be a little less Scrooge-ish.


  • Reply Ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com |

    That’s my big plan for next year is to budget, budget, budget…and start buying throughout the year. I started with a $300 budget but didn’t really pay attention when I was buying stuff. I started purchasing gifts at the last minute and literally forgot about my grandpa until the day of! Oh gosh! Next year!!

  • Reply Shannon |

    The fact that you are making such head way in reducing your debt AND you give, not only at Christmas, but EVERY MONTH is awesome. I commend you for putting kindness in your budget. 🙂 I totally believe that what goes around, comes around. You put kindness and selflessness out there, and it definitely comes back to you.

  • Reply Edward |

    Yeah, I agree with Shannon. I’m not sure if I would go as far to call you the Scrooge. Sounds to me like you give plenty. Hope your husband enjoys his new tools. I find that shopping for next Christmas is good this time of year. You get more for your budget that way.

  • Reply Jen |

    Yay for the donation!! But don’t beat yourself up too much calling yourself Scrooge. I was a bit Scroogey after I bought my condo – I freaked out that I had to spend so much money just to set up the new place, etc. So I didn’t give a lot of money then, but now I’m donating regularly to my usual causes. Once your finances settle you can focus on being more generous 🙂

  • Reply Allspentout |

    Christmas is a rough time of year to be frugal. Donations are good though, even when you have very little. I have found that the more you put out in the world the more you get back. I was skeptical at first but since I started doing it I have been pleasantly surprised. Happy Holidays

  • Reply Jamie |

    I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on December 8th. He was immediately rushed to Rady Children’s Hospital for a partially collapsed lung due to a hole. It was the scariest moment in my life. The next morning I was released and able to drive to San Diego to be with my baby. As hard as it was, my mind was put at ease the minute I saw what an incredible place Radys is and how amazing all of the doctors and nurses are! We were incredibly lucky that our son only had to stay there for a week but it broke my heart to see all of the babies and children that have to stay much longer. We decided we will be donating to Radys from now on. 🙂

  • Reply MyMoneyMess |

    Good on ya for the donation.

    As for gifts, my personal feeling is that the holidays have been perverted by the retail marketing machine to put way too much emphasis “bling”. The constant stream of ads saying, “give diamonds”, “give a new car”, “give a big screen HDTV” is really sickening. Is it any wonder people around the country are getting deeper in debt?

    I don’t worry about how “cheap” my gifts are. I just want them to say to my family/friends, “you’re an important person in my life.”

  • Reply Alison |

    Oh thank you for donating to Rady! They are one of the very few hospitals in the country that specializes in the rare disease that my son has (Eosinophilic Esophagitis). I’ll just pretend that your money went straight to the EGID clinic 🙂

  • Reply Paul |

    I’ll not only say that that’s a great way to spend the remainder of your christmas budget but I’ll also say congratulations on being disciplined enough to actually have money left over in your Christmas budget. This would be a great goal to set for yourself, it would improve both your own personal finances and the state of charitable giving over all.

    Great idea

  • Reply Vicki |

    Bless you Beks for donating to the Rady Children’s Hospital. As a mom that has had to take her child there a few times, I can only say, thank you.

So, what do you think ?