Christmas Spending Final Tally

Our budget (me and Jordan) for this Christmas was $1,000 on gifts.  We had a total of 24 people (or groups of people in some cases) to buy for.  Whoa! On the surface, that seems like a lot of people.  Well, maybe it is - maybe it isn't.

This year, Jordan and I decided to do all gifts as joint presents from the both of us - so our list got bigger (because there was one, not two) - but the overall spending went wayyyy down.

Our list included:
  • My Mom & Dad
  • Jordan's Mom & Dad
  • Our brothers
  • Our brother's others
  • Two very good friends of mine (and one of them has a daughter who's three)
  • Our grandparents (my grandma/grandpa and Jordan's grandmother)
  • My great aunt
  • Two of my cousins (Jordan participated in the cousins draw this year - so he'll receive a gift from one of my cousins too)
  • Two sets of Jordan's aunts/uncles
  • Something for each of our co-workers
  • We through in three birthday's into this budget (my brother, my grandpa, and one of Jordan's folks).

We spent a grand total of $898.63 on Christmas gifts!  That's $101.37 under budget!! Well that sounds just too good to be true (...so it probably is). A couple of things that we didn't plan for - but will in coming years -include:

  • Decorations
  • Christmas incidentals
  • GST
We spent an additional $337 on decorations and incidentals and $63.82 on GST.

So, in case you don't want to do the math.  Jordan and I have spent $1,340.17 on Christmas - or $670.08 each.  Considering that last year I spent just over $2,000 on Christmas BY MYSELF  - I would call this a success. 

Our Christmas incidentals (which i just called decorations in the spreadsheet) included: ribbon, gift wrap, treat tins, wreaths, the tree, ginger bread houses, tape, tree ordainments, cookie sheets, and a few bottles of cheer from the liquor store :)

I actually think this is a success (although I fear some reader's will think it's not).  Jordan and I have the money, and didn't go into debt for any of our spending this Christmas - and that's a thing worth celebrating.

I should also mention that the numbers above do not include any spending we did or will do on each other.  This wasn't part of our joint Christmas budget.  I won't get into details because Jordan reads this blog, but I will say that I didn't go into debt for Jordan's gifts either. That money was from my entertainment budget and Christmas fund.

- oh, and it feels sooooo good to be finished Christmas shopping already!


  1. Wow, what a difference between last year and this year! I think you did a great job.

  2. I think you did great!

    At least you realized what you'll need to include in your budget for next year. And that's what this journey is all about - learning from our mistakes! (not saying you made a mistake! LOL...but you get what I mean!)

  3. @ Vanessa - Thank you! I started this blog following last year's Christmas - I think it was just in time too!

    @ Frugal - thanks! Next year, I'm going to try to have a stash of $1,000 for December which is 2x what I had this year. You are so right that it's a journey, and about learning - I love that outlook!

  4. I'm jealous -- I haven't bought a damned thing yet. This is a problem! =)

  5. I did a bunch of shopping this afternoon and I'm almost done - finally! My goal is to stay away from my credit cards and try to keep costs as low as possible.

    24 people isn't too bad - if we didn't draw names for Christmas, my immediate family alone (and their others and children) would be 12 - then there's B's family and all the friends and work folks. It adds up quickly.

    Lastly - good for you for keeping in budget!

  6. Congrats on the Christmas completion. Just a thought, have you thought of making your own gift bags out of fabrics to save you money on gift wrapping and such? For your family members you simply add a little note that says send the bag back so I can fill it again next year, if you aren't in a position to actually see the people you are giving to.

    This is a great way to save tons of money - if they get soiled you simply wash them and dry as you would a t-shirt. My family has been doing this for years. I haven't bought Christmas wrapping paper in a really long time!! It's definitely a money saver - BouClair and Fabricland have boxing week sales that you can get bolts for $5 of the festive fabrics or similar pricing for meters and what not. something to think about.

    Also - way to cut down on the money for th holiday season! $2000 to $650 ish + GST is a HUGE savings!!!

  7. Over budget or not, I think you did a great job... such a big reduction from last year. Way to go!!!

  8. Awesome job this year! I hope you have a merry Christmas!

  9. Good job on the Xmas spending. I am currently working my spending out too.

    By the way, how do you get your savings graphs on the right hand side of your blog?

  10. You're still way below than what you did last year. Maybe next year you can take into account of the incidentals and you'll be right on budget. :)

  11. Hey, if you have the money and aren't cutting into your savings, I say go for it!

    Maybe after the holidays you can tell us what you got everyone!

  12. Congrats on finishing your shopping, I still have a little more to do. I think everyone forgets the incidentals in their holiday budget, they definitely add up.

  13. Well, I think you did fabulously. And I'm more than a little envious that you're done, and I'm far from it. Another thing to be sure to include in a budget is if you tend to eat out while you're shopping. My husband and I used to go to a nice place every year while shopping -- well, we wouldn't do it if it weren't for that, so it needs to go in there!

    And while I think you seem to be doing a great job on your own, in terms of saving money and staying on track financially, I wanted to put in a recommendation to you for a book on getting out of debt and on the path to a great financial future, "The Debt-Free Millionaire," by Anthony Manganiello. Many great tips. His point is that any kind of debt (and yes, we have some but thankfully a lot less than other people) than that is eroding your financial future. And he outlines a 5-step plan as a remedy to this "financial cancer," as he calls it. And then you recover. I'm kind of excited, believe it or not, at the prospects of getting out of the debt we have.

  14. Whew! My wallet is grateful for my small family (plus man, do I hate shopping). I definitely believe in joint presents: in fact, I would expect that from any couple I knew :)


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