Do you budget for Christmas gifts for friends and family?

I am a big fan of Christmas budgeting! Our first “married Christmas” Hubby and I had a giant free-for-all and had no budgeting and no plan. And, we spent waaaay more than necessary. Yes, we got some cool gifts, but I didn’t need go out to try to find something to buy so Hubby would have another gift to open.

Last year, we budgeted $100 to spend on wrapped gifts for each other and $15 for stocking gifts. We also purchased a new sofa as a joint gift, so the budgeting came more out of the fact that we wanted to purchase a large item in addition to smaller gifts.

Personally, I really enjoyed the challenge of shopping on a smaller budget and trying to find the best deals so I could get the best bang for my buck. I was surprised at all the great things I could find for under $100. I got Hubby (among some other things) – a Shop Vac, a new Wii remote and two Wii remote and nunchuck covers, and new PJs.

In light of last year, we’ve decided to stick to a budget again this year, but since we won’t be making a bigger joint purchase, we’ve decided to up our spending budget a little. I can’t wait to start scouring the Lowe’s and Home Depot ads for the best deals and putting on my thinking cap to find the very best present for Hubby!

As far as gifts for friends and family go, I usually like to stay in the range of $20-$50, depending on the gift and the person. For example, I’ll spend more on my parents, and less on my younger cousins who are happy with candy or bubble bath solutions. I’ll spend even less on my grandparents who recently decided they only want nice cards with handwritten notes for Christmas now.

What about you, do you budget for Christmas gifts? Does your budget change based on the person you are buying for?