Christmas budget breakdown

Christmas came and went quickly, as it usually does. I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday with family and friends. I know I sure did. We had a relatively small budget of $500 for our gift budget. Food came out of an increased grocery budget.

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Back in November, my husband gifted me some clothing on sale at the store he works at on weekends; this was not in the Christmas budget. He operated out of overtime and/or bonus money.  Let’s see how we did with our budget. Below is what we bought, the average cost of each, and I’ll give the final amount spent at the end!

For the kids

We spent just over half the budget, $288 and some change, on the kids’ Christmas gifts. We considered every single item and debated several different options before hitting the checkout button in the online carts. Each kid received one larger gift that was more of a need, an article of clothing, and a few fun things we felt they would actually use.


Our six-year-old received this flannel shirt (now on clearance) and new cowgirl boots to replace the ones she’d outgrown. We do not buy cheap boots because, if you will remember, Frugal Isn’t Cheap. We buy them a little big and typically get two years out of them. They’re still good enough for the resale shop or to hand down to a family or friend when she outgrows them.

We also bought her two movies that she’s been looking forward to seeing. We bought the third installment of the How to Train Your Dragon movies and the Secret Life of Pets 2. We’ve already watched both movies, and the whole family loves them!

Then there was the craft supply set, which she loves. Half the glitter glue was gone Christmas day! Safe to say she enjoyed this little kit. And, when she was done it all went back in the tube and was neatly stored. She finally got those scissors she has been asking for – we would’ve included some in last year’s stockings with some crafty stuff, but she cut her bangs at school, so we waited a bit.


Our two-year-old got a pair of overalls like his daddy’s (he isn’t quite a fan yet), this excavator toy (also now on clearance), and the book Good Night, Good Night Construction Site. For his large gift, he received a play rug with roads on it.

don’t worry, they got lots more from family

Even without all the additional toys and games from grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, they seemed perfectly happy with the gifts we picked out for them.

for daddy

I spent a whopping $15 on my husband on a new pair of house shoes. It wasn’t much, but it was in budget and it was a need. I hadn’t yet decided what to get him when our two-year-old decided the holes in daddy’s old house shoes (a stocking stuffer at least 5 years ago) were the perfect place to stuff his toy cars… while they were still on daddy’s feet. The outdoor sole had detached from the cushion and the top of the shoe that they slid right in. So I knew what I was getting daddy for Christmas!

We take advantage of sales and his discount to get him clothing and other items as we can, so there wasn’t much he needed (cheaper than a tractor or shop building that is).

stocking stuffers

I spent just over $70 on stocking stuffers. Both kids got socks, my daughter got underwear, hair ties, and our son got flashcards to help him with colors, letters, and shapes as well as a little Thomas the Train that will hook onto a train set he already has.

I bought my husband the Harry’s starter set and set him up on a subscription for razor cartridges. At first, I tried to use an offer code from a favorite YouTuber of his, but it was no longer valid, so I googled a coupon! Initial spend on this stocking spender was just under $4!

Teacher gifts

I spent about $12 each on four teacher gifts of herbal tea, a citrus vitality oil, and tea bag rest for my daughter’s elementary, Sunday School, and Children’s Church teachers. I spent about $3 each for hot cocoa and mugs for the church nursery workers from my son.

gifts for the rest of the family were mostly diy-ed

I bought a set of large amber Ball Mason jars and filled them with homemade brownie mix made with ingredients I already had on hand. I paired these with a tea towel, peppermint vitality oil, and printed photo cards designed in Canva with the instructions. These then went to both sets of parents, his local sister and brother-in-law, and my sister and brother-in-law.

I also DIY-ed my teenaged niece a little spa package consisting of bergamot oil-infused facewash, a peppermint oil-infused sugar scrub, and lavender oil-infused bath salts. I topped it off with this sleep mask. Including the Pioneer Woman clamping jars I put them in,  I had less than $20 in them.

For my nephew, we went with a Barnes and Noble gift card. For my husband’s nieces and nephew, we gave them cash for skate rink passes. The local skate rink is only open evenings and I never seemed to be in town after 5 PM.

did we keep it in our $500 budget?

So, were we able to keep all of our Christmas spending in our modest budget? According to Every Dollar, we spent a total of… $509.57. I also have one extra teabag rest to return (overestimated number of teachers I gifted tea), which will bring our total overspend down about $4. I can live with that!

All in all, planning ahead, making a lot of the gifts, and making sure we had our kids covered, then family, and then purchasing stocking stuffers with what was left in the budget helped us keep mostly to the budget.

I hope you all had a great holiday! How did you do with your Christmas budget? Did you come in over or under? Did you set a budget for your holiday spending or just swipe away without a plan? Feel like you bought just the right amount of stuff or wondering how you got so carried away again? Let me know!

I’ll be back soon with a new post and will resume the weekly YouTube schedule after the first of the year. Until next time, stay frugal my friends! And if you aren’t that frugal, stick around and get caught up; I have some great tips on being frugal!


  1. glowsteady says:

    Wow this was amazing! I don’t have any kids to buy for so it’s a little easier for me. Typically I don’t set a budget for my mum and just get her whatever she wants but stick to a rough budget for everyone else and managed to stick to it this year! I love the look of the DIY set you put together for your niece! x


  2. Jordanne | Ofaglasgowgirl says:

    Wow! I love the idea of a set budget, we normally try and stick to one but come Christmas eve we sort of realise we went over when it’s not necessary. They way you’ve done it is great and I’m definitely taking note for next year.

    Jordanne ||

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