Have you stuck to your Christmas budget or has it been thrown out the window at this point?
We’re doing pretty well sticking to our budget, but we’re not done shopping yet.
If we go over our Christmas budget, it’s usually because of food or gifts between Austin and I. We love special holiday foods like shrimp, sparkling grape juice, and cheesecake. And we like to spoil each other.
There’s a lot more spending that happens around Christmas than just on gifts.
Even if you don’t spend a lot of money around the holidays, there are some extra expenses that can really trip up your budget.
7 Things Killing Your Christmas Budget
I love eating! Seriously, I wait all year for holiday food. Buying extra food or special, more expensive foods can throw off our budget big time.
One of our traditions is to have a fancy Christmas Eve dinner with things like shrimp, ham, cheesecake, cheeses, and sparkling juices. On Christmas day with Austin’s family, we have more special foods like fondue and pizza.
All of these things cost extra above what we would normally spend on food.
You might also consider:
- Bringing food for potlucks at work or for family gatherings
- Going out to eat more often because of visiting family and friends
- Spending more on groceries if you have guests staying at your house for a few days
We try to budget well for what we will spend on gifts for family members. It’s easy to forget about other gifts though.
Will you end up getting gifts for:
- Co-Workers or Bosses
- Mail Carriers
Even if you’re extremely frugal with these gifts, it still can add up to quite a lot.
One of my new favorite cookbooks, the Dining on a Dime Cookbook, has some great frugal gift ideas like gift baskets, homemade drink mixes, and those cute “recipe in a canning jar” recipes.
It’s easy to forget about the price of Christmas cards, but a lot of families send them every year.
We send Christmas cards out every couple of years. I’m guessing that when we have kids, we’ll send them more often.
Ok, so you remembered to budget for Christmas cards, but did you budget for the price of stamps? Those things aren’t cheap!
If you send out 50 Christmas cards, that’s almost $25 you have to spend on stamps.
Austin and I have a set budget on how much to spend on each other, but those gifts always get wrapped and put under the tree. If we buy things to put in each other’s stockings, that costs extra.
Last year, we spent $10 each and went to the store a few days before Christmas to buy stocking stuffers for each other.
It can be hard to remember to budget extra for stocking stuffers but adding a little more money to your Christmas budget will help out.
Decorations & Wrapping Supplies
Do you buy new decorations each year? If you have a new family member, you might buy a new stocking. Or maybe you want to buy some new garland or ornaments to freshen up your Christmas tree.
Wrapping paper, ribbon, bows, and gift tags are all an extra expense each year too.
Ok, this one can be big. If you have any special family traditions, don’t forget about the cost.
- A yearly Christmas ornament (I posted a pic of our 2016 ornament on Instagram)
- Christmas Eve PJs for the family
- A family board game
- Family movie night
- Christmas day bowling or movie tickets
⇒ What’s killing your Christmas budget? What do you always forget to budget for?
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