I mentioned in a previous post that I gave myself a $200 budget for gift-buying this holiday season. Here’s a breakdown of how I did:
Barnes & Noble: $76.07
I love books, so I like to pretend that everyone else does too. :)
Brother got Your Money or Your Life which I haven’t read but have heard great things about.
Dad got a book on opening and managing a restaurant, because he’s been wanting to open a catering company for years – Brother and I are trying to push him in that direction.
Brother’s Girlfriend got a copy of Notes on Nursing by Florence Nightingale. She wants to go to nursing school after she finishes her undergrad.
Baby Brother got a book about being a gifted teenager. He’s 13 and brilliant, hopefully this book will spare him some of the heartache I’ve seen many other gifted teens go through.
And rounding out the “books for gifts” list is a friend who got married in 2007, she and her husband get a copy of Smart Couples Finish Rich which I also haven’t read (in no small part because of the fact that I’m single and have no intention of getting married in the near future, and quite likely not ever).
This was a lovely picture frame for a friend who got married in 2008. It was actually a wedding gift (she got married right after Thanksgiving) but I’m counting it as a wedding/holiday gift, especially since we wouldn’t normally exchange gifts.
This was for another friend. $10 gift card to Blockbuster and some popcorn (so she can have inexpensive “date nights” at her house with her boyfriend) and a few school supplies and a Disney Princess plate for her baby girl.
Brother and I split buying gifts for Mom and Stepdad and Dad. Since I bought Dad’s gifts (Dad also received some nice summer sausage and cheese which I’d purchased earlier, $15), Brother took care of dinner gift cards (for Mom and Stepdad) and something from Bath & Body works for Mom. I also plan to get Mom a pedicure (~$30), but wasn’t sure where she’d like a gift certificate – the place I usually go in my hometown isn’t really close to anywhere Mom goes, and I’d rather find a place that’s convenient for her. I told her to choose and let me know.
Of course, this doesn’t include the who-knows-how-many meals, drinks, shots, etc. purchased for friends when we were spending time together while I was in town. I did manage to come in under budget in those categories, somehow. I set myself a $300 limit on bar spending (Luckily bars are pretty cheap in my hometown – it is definitely a college town – I was there for 3 weeks and could have fared much, much worse!)
Bars: $246 (Note: This includes New Year’s Eve spending also.)
I think I didn’t do too bad for being in town for 3 weeks and arriving with basically nothing in the way of food/drinks.
Were you able to stay on budget with holiday spending? What tricks did you use to keep gift giving and holiday celebrating under control financially?