Totaling Up the Christmas Damage

The gifts have been opened, the wine bottles emptied and our bellies filled with delicious food and desserts. Christmas was a success! I’m hoping yours was just as wonderful.

I’ve finally gotten around to tallying how much we spent on Christmas gifts this year. I originally wanted our budget to be $300 or so, but realized even with grab bags, that wasn’t happening.

Bottom line: $490 on gifts, not counting what Mr. Saver and I gave each other. Counting our gifts, the total was $820. I realize that’s $330 above and beyond what was spent on everyone else at Christmas. But we figured since we’re pretty frugal the rest of the year, we should spoil each other a bit. And Mr. Saver spoiled me more than I spoiled him — I got a digital camera and a beautiful jewelry box.

I suppose I could add another $30 or so spent on baking ingredients for the numerous batches of Christmas cookies I made, but I think that figures more into our grocery budget. I reuse tissue paper, bags and bows when possible for presents, so that cut out some spending there — but I also bought about $25 worth of wrapping paper from kids’ fundraisers this year, too.

Two good things that came out of our Christmas shopping this year:
1. The spending was offset by the $600 I scored by selling some “old boyfriend” gold jewelry.

2. We paid cash for almost everything! I did put a $100 Kohl’s purchase on my card, but I plan to pay it this week, and it won’t cut into our credit card debt repayment plan.

I’m pretty good at keeping within budgets when it comes to a lot of things, but Christmas isn’t one of them. Yet, I’m not feeling any guilt about it, since we’re still on track with paying off our credit cards.

How well did you stick to your budget? If you totally blew it, do you feel guilty about overspending during the holidays?

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