I finished my final gift on Saturday. Then on Sunday I got the last of the gifts wrapped and put under the tree. Hooray.
Remember my budget? I had $100 cash, a $25 gift card to Bath & Body Works and a $25 gift card to JoAnn Fabrics. I used the entire gift card at Bath & Body Works without any trouble. I still have $4 left on the JoAnn Fabrics gift card after purchasing craft supplies throughout the year.
And the cash…
Not surprising, but I pretty much used it all up as well. I have exactly 17¢ left.
The bulk of that money I spent on gifts and stocking stuffers for my girls. I took advantage of sales and coupons to stretch it out as far as I could purchasing only a couple gifts and making the rest for them. For friends and other family I put together handmade gifts and used a lot of creativity, in particular, to put together one gift basket for a certain gentleman in our life. I'm hopeful he'll like it. We put a lot of work into it and it was definitely a family project.
I made all of our Christmas cards using supplies I already had on hand. Our annual Christmas letter included pictures of us and I printed it out on plain copy paper to fold and tuck inside. I mailed them out on Monday.
We have plenty of baking supplies in our pantry to make cookies, fudge and any other treats we like this season by shopping throughout the year and incorporating those items into our regular grocery budget. I've already made a batch of peanut butter blossoms which I needed chocolate stars for. I bought them from the bulk bin at Fred Meyer with the last of our Christmas cash.
Do I feel like I had to make too many sacrifices?
Nope not one little bit. Truth is I had a ball making all of those gifts and creatively shopping to get all the things on my list that I couldn't make. It was challenging and really made me think outside the box. But you know me. I'm always up for a good challenge.
So will I do the same thing next year?
Probably so. I am planning to increase the budget, however, as I don't think we'll have to refurnish an entire house like we did these last few months. At least I certainly hope not. But I don't think it will be a huge increase.
Did you set a budget for your Christmas expenses this year? If so, how are you doing? How are some ways you are saving money this season?