Friday, January 11, 2013

Christmas 2012 Budget/Spending Autopsy

Ok, so calling this an Autopsy is not very festive or cheerful.
So call it "The Post where I talk about what I was Going to Spend for Christmas and what I Actually Spent for Christmas".

I budgeted $1000 for Christmas spending.
$1000 in money we HAD already, so no putting Christmas spending on Credit Cards to pay off sometime in 2013, or 2014, or 2015.......

Here is where the funds were allocated at the start.....

Shipping gifts/mailing Holiday Cards  $20.00
Gifts for family  $300
Cash for Kids  $300
Gifts for extended family and my mail lady  $80
Secret Santa Gift  $50
Charity  $XXX
Electricity for lights  $5
A Christmas eve meal and show or movie  $125
Extra $20 (the "just in case" cushion)

And here is where the money actually went.....

Shipping gifts/mailing Holiday Cards  $13.21 under
Gifts for family  $398.82  over
Cash for Kids  $300 even
Gifts for extended family and my mail lady  $59.60 under
Secret Santa Gift  $40 under
Charity  $XXX even
Electricity for lights  $10 over
A Christmas eve meal and show or movie  $98.85  under
TOTAL SPENT...$1020.48

Here are the Spending Details....

$13.21  *Shipping/Mailing Holiday Cards & Gifts----
We sent out 10 cards and 2 gifts.  1 gift was a check so just a stamp was needed, the other gift was a box of goodies.

$398.82  *Gifts for family----
Last year I spent $452.24 on gifts for family.  I did better this year.  It's the one time a year I really spoil the kids.  Hubs and I don't really get each other much.  ;-)  It makes it seem better when I say that I saved 43+% on what I paid, as the reg. retail came to $704.25.  I usually cash in points on my credit card for gift cards and utilize social coupon deals, but I didn't this year.  I got the gift cards to use at full price, to obtain free groceries at the grocery store.  I did shop sales, both in store and online.  In years past I've been known to start buying for Christmas if I find a deal, all through the year.  This year, I bought 1 thing in July, but did no other holiday shopping until October.

$300  *Cash for Kids----
The kids prefer money, but I need to buy stuff for them at Christmas, so they get both.  I only buy what they want or need.  No more stupid junk. lol  This year I gave them the option of cash, gift cards or a combination of both.  I looked like a Elf Pimp sitting by the tree with $50 bills in one hand and gift cards in the other.  All the gift cards(I had bought to get free groceries)were ones that if the kids didn't take, Hubs and I would use.....subway, red lobster, TGIF, Sears, KMart, etc.

$59.60  *Gifts for extended family and mail lady---
I send gifts to my brother and his wife and Hub's sister. Locally we give something to the nephew, a box of food and toiletries to his father and I give a bag of good coffee to my mail lady for the extra work I put her through with my eBay packages at the Holidays.

$40  *Secret Santa Gift----
I had the daughter's name.  She has expensive tastes so I budgeted high for her SS gift. lol  Found a great deal online Cyber Monday for a set of luggage....just what she wanted!

$XXX  *Charity----
I cut a check to an organization that we've supported since the 1986.  They had some extraordinary expenses lately so I thought it best to send the extra love their way.

$10  *Electricity for Lights----
Same stuff hung outside the house, same lights on the tree inside.  I guess we turned stuff on more this year and the rates went up from 2011.

$98.85  *A Christmas eve meal and show or movie----
We had our immediate family and son's girlfriend for our traditional Chinese restaurant meal.  #1 Son covered the tip this year so our out of pocket was a bit lower.

All totaled, I am happy with where the money went and how much.  We went over budget a tiny bit, but since we didn't have to pull money from some other need, and no balance was put on a credit card that wasn't paid off at the next statement, we are fine with it.
I would however like to bring the total amount we spend at the Holidays down in 2013.
I've told the kids that once they hit 21, the Christmas Gravy Train is leaving the station. 8-)  #1 Son got less this year since he's 21 now.  And next Christmas the Daughter will be 21 also, so I'll be spending less on 2 of 3 kids.  I won't go and make my actual Christmas Budget until mid year, but I do know there will be less spending in it for 2013.

If you kept track of your spending for Christmas, how did you do?
Did you spend more. less or right about what you planned on spending?
Did you have any money epiphanies(epiphany? epiphani?)when you looked back at the Holiday plan?
Do you see anything you'll change about your spending for Christmas 2013?

Leave a comment and let us know how you did and what you learned about yourself & money this year!



  1. I was about $50 over this year. But some of the expenses were a lot higher than I expected (like my older kid's ever changing mind on what he wants until I can't find it on good sale!. But our budget was only $550. I will bump it to $700 this year though because I will have to mail a package to Russia,and it costs $70 just to mail. It's crazy!!

  2. to be honest I have no idea what we spent on Christmas. That is why I am on a new know where my $$ is going. I've started a Christmas fund at the credit union again. I should $570.00 saved for Christmas by the time the funds are transferred to my other savings account. Then I plan on making a detail list of where the $$ went. Wish me luck!!

  3. I said I spent $100 for three children, dil, and four grandchildren. Actually, I spent $120. I had bought a nice candy dish for my two daughters and dil. However, I could not find them and had to rebuy for them at a higher price. Those three candy dishes will be found before next Christmas, so there will be no need to buy those three gifts again. It is hard to buy for my dil, so I bought a Totes umbrella (I know it's a lame gift, but who cannot use an umbrella?) that was too expensive and bought out of desperation. Next year, she and my son will get the candy dish and something else TOGETHER. Maybe I will get them a book since they are both English teachers. Most of the $120 was spent well before Christmas. I still expect to keep it at $100 for next year.

    I already have birthday gifts for all four grandchildren, so I am good through May. I know you did not ask about that.

  4. I think you did great this year! VERY close to your budget!! I, on the other hand, did not fare so well. I spent 200% more than I wanted to, but I still did it with all cash. No credit cards followed me into the new year.

    I'm hoping for a $1,000 Christmas for 2013.

  5. We stayed on budget and I even started for next year tonight. I had two 20 gift cards for cabelas from swagbucks so I ordered new mocasin slippers for the girls for next year for Christmas and they were marked down to 17.99 a pair so it was only 16.00 bucks for the two of them(regular 49.99 and they last forever) and two pairs of flannel lined jeans for DH which were half price. So four presents down!

  6. You did great! But you knew that I would say that, didn't you?


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