I am very big into family, and I have a big family as well. 5 brothers and sisters (I'm the 5th of 6). 13 nieces and nephews (it's about to be 14 because yet another one is due in October!). 5 great-nephews & 5 great-nieces. And no, with that many family members, I do not keep up with birthdays very well. Even with a master list on my fridge.
I'm also married. My husband and I got married here in San Antonio at the historic Sheraton Gunter Hotel downtown. And we are the proud parents of a 9 year old Alaskan Husky named Moo and three 1 year old kittens, Wicket, Willow, and Winter.
Like all Texas moms, I made my kid pose in the bluebonnets.
Going over-budget around the holidays is easy to do. So the most important thing is to actually SET a budget in the first place, and not just put everything on credit cards. Here are the five things you need to AVOID if you want to stay WITHIN that budget.
#1.) Overspending Just to Impress Someone. This one's really common with young adults, who feel like they have to prove to their parents that they're doing okay financially. But boyfriends and husbands tend to do it a lot too.
#2.) Buying Presents for Too Many People. Sometimes it feels like you have to give a gift to every co-worker, neighbor, and friend you have. But that's not REALLY expected, and it's definitely not necessary. Especially if you're on a budget.
#3.) Spending the Same Amount on Each of Your Kids. It might seem FAIR, but the fact is, you just don't have to spend as much to make a four-year-old happy as you do with a 12-year-old. As long as you don't TELL them, young kids usually don't know the difference.
#4.) Forgetting to Factor the Little Things Into Your Budget. The obvious things you budget for are the presents, the plane tickets, and any other travel expenses you might have. But a lot of people FORGET to factor in things like decorations, shipping costs, higher utility bills, and the money to cover any parties or get-togethers they're hosting.
#5.) Doing All Your Shopping at the Last Minute. It can put you over-budget because it doesn't give you enough time to pick out anything THOUGHTFUL. So you end up overspending to compensate. Ideally, you should get all your shopping done by the middle of the month, so you won't have to pay extra shipping to make sure they get it on time.
Find out more other mistakes to avoid here.