Stocking Stuffers Almost Broke My Budget

Posted by idawrites on December 21, 2009 in Budgeting, Christmas, Shopping |

Mark and I hit a couple of stores yesterday to pick up 3 or 4 things on our list that we weren’t able order online. I am REALLY proud of us for having a shopping budget this year (for the first time ever!) and really working hard to stick to it. Believe it or not, we kept everything under budget and still managed to buy all of the gifts that were on the Must Have list.

What worked:

  • We determined how much money we were going to have in the Christmas savings account by the time we started shopping.
  • We asked the children for their Wish List
    • There was one child with a particularly long list of things, so I explained that we planned to get as many things from the list as we could, within the budget, and asked her to prioritize the list from most important to least important.  I’m really glad I did, because what I THOUGHT she’d want most ended up being at the bottom of the list.
  • We divided the amount we’d have available for Christmas equally between all 6 children.

What didn’t work:

  • I didn’t budget for stocking stuffers!  It wasn’t until we were at the store and Mark mentioned them that I realized that I neglected that pretty significant expense.
  • Some of the things we ordered haven’t arrived yet.

Although I had “padding” built into our Christmas budget for the unexpected things that always pop up, this shouldn’t have been eaten into by the stocking stuffers.  That’s not unexpected.  Lesson learned 🙂  I also learned that ordering everything the first week of December still doesn’t guarantee on-time arrival.  Good to know for next year.

All in all, I think our first strictly budgeted Christmas turned out to be a great success!  I’ll let you know if I’m right once all the wrapping paper settles.


  • Lizzy says:

    We do silly things for stockings like chapstick, pens, chocolate. The best place I have found for stocking stuffers is Target’s dollar bins at the front of the store. I also hit the office supply store for post it notes and stuff.

  • Lizzy says:

    @Momma – Yeah, adds up quick doesn’t it? Last year we tried the ‘we’ll only buy for family’ but that is still 4 grandparents, 3 aunts, 2 uncles, and a niece. This year turned out to be an only for kids year, which still costs way too much. I can’t believe how much toys for 2 year olds cost!

  • Clayton says:

    My wife ordered some things online and we didn’t recieve them til about 4 days after christmas when the truck came by again. We will definitely be ordering before thanksgiving next year.

  • Momma says:

    @Clayton – That stinks! I’m still waiting for a book that hasn’t arrived. I keep hoping it will arrive in time for the 11 year old’s birthday next week, but it doesn’t look like they’re going to send it.

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