December 27, 2006

Why do we always spend too much at Christmas despite our efforts to budget?

How was Christmas for you guys? Mine was good, but it went by too fast and it was too expensive. I'm not even sure where I spent money but I went over budget by about $250. Of course, I can't let DH know that. I'm simply praying for a job very soon before DH realizes how much money is actually left in the bank:)

What are your plans for New Year's Eve?


Justice Fergie said...

Our Christmas was great! I am glad we decided to go to Altanta after all. The kids had a collective blast and it was nice to spend time with Hubby's family. And, as usual, the trip has reignited our thoughts of moving there...stay tuned.

The holiday trip does however fit into your concern with overspending at Christmastime. We made the trip b/c we found great airfare ($100pp) -- but now that everything is said and done, we ended up spending much more than we had anticipated [eating out; sightseeing; purchasing gifts for people we wouldn't normally give to; CHANGE OF FLIGHT FEE FOR MISSING OUR FLIGHT HOME; mall shopping, etc.] So of course now that we are back home, Hubby is grumbling about our allegedly "inexpensive trip" to Atlanta. But we do agree that it was worth it.

Unless you are very strict with your money (and I thought you were J. Ny!) you should just expect to overspend a little at the holidays. Make a loose budget and stick to it. Use cash. Yada yada yada. You know the tips. But a lot of us tend to get caught up in the excitement of shopping and gift giving. Then there are the unexpected gifts that you "need" to get, potluck parties to bring food to, "good deals" that you "can't possibly pass up" and so on. Aside from the trip, we did fairly well. We went only $100 over our estimated budget...What can you do? It's the holidays!

As for New Year's, we have no plans. What plans could we possibly have with an infant and a toddler? Maybe a drive through the Symphony of Lights in Columbia or the Garden of Lights in Wheaton? Or maybe the First Night Annapolis festival...How about you?

Justice Jones said...

Christmas was great. The kids are spoiled. That's for sure. Hubby set a two gift limit from us to the kids and I stuck to that since I knew they would get a lot from family. Well, I didn't expect as much as they got. My in-laws over did it. They got TWO truck loads (and by truck I mean the Denali XL) of gifts. TWO, do you hear me? It was insane. This is not exactly what I want for my children even though they are fortunate. I want them to value things, to earn things, etc. Not have expectations of getting it all. So Hubby and I are going to do it differently next year. We are going to set a limit for the grandparents. A few toys each and the rest can go into a mutual fund or their college fund. We do not even have the space for all this stuff. I suppose things could be worse and I do not mean to complain but I do not want to raise spoiled children.

Justice Fergie said...

After opening the last of the Christmas gifts we left under the tree while we were gone, I know why you spent too much despite your efforts to budget, J. Ny! You were overly generous with your gift-giving! Each of my DDs were delighted to open their multiple gifts from you. Thanks a bunch!!

Revka said...

Christmas was good and frugal this year. I was so tired of trying to shop for everyone that I decided to make Christmas gifts for everyone except my husband and our daughters. I recorded a sacred piano solo CD and put together pretty jars of homemade hot chocolate mix. Everyone seemed to really like the gifts; in fact, the reaction was more positive than normal. Not counting my husband and children, the total we spentwas between $60 and $70 for EVERYONE! Normally we would spend about $400. Needless to say, I'm thrilled and will be doing this again next year.

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