Not counting our Christmas gift surprises over the past month, I would say that this Christmas was a success when looking at our plans vs actuals on gift purchases. This year, we budgeted $990 for gifts to family (no friends this year), and ended up spending just $889. That means we spent BELOW budget.
Although that could be a sign of being cheap, when reviewing our gift purchases, we found that we basically got gifts that everyone enjoyed, whether it be toys and clothes for the kids or gift cards for the parents. This year, as with years past, we tried to get useful presents rather than decorative clutter. We don’t like giving gifts just for the sake of giving something.
This year, we didn’t get gifts for 2 of Stacie’s cousins, which accounts for $50 of the budget. It wasn’t because of any falling out with them; rather, we just didn’t have time to get them anything this year. The other areas we went under budget was with Stacie’s parents, simply because we found them good gifts at cheaper prices, like a 2Gb SD card for the Kodak camera we got her dad last year.
Lastly, I will say that Stacie and I got cash from my parents, even though I always ask them not to do so. They gave each of us $50. I donated mine to my father-in-law’s church rather than keeping it for myself. The church doesn’t have many members, but they’re so giving to the local community that I know the money will be put to good use.
Well, I hope all of you stayed within budget this year. Heck, I hope you HAD a budget! If not, make sure you put one together for next year and stick to it! Keep it up to date as you buy more gifts because it’s easy to get out of control when you get in that buying mood.