Silly Money Confessions of A Shopper Who Now Dreads Christmas

You might think that it’s silly of me to list my money confessions during a holiday season that brings people a lot of laughter and smiles.

Seriously, it’s Christmas! Who can complain?

Well, if I could turn back time, I would tell my much younger self to think about what I’m getting into when I start shopping for little kids.

After I graduated college and got a good job at an accounting firm, I had no debt and I had some money to play with. One Christmas year, I decided to buy gifts for my little cousins.

It wasn’t too bad but it sure made me feel good to spoil them a little because I rarely saw them.

I would shop at Ross and pick out cute toys that I think they would like. The best part of it all? The toys at Ross were very affordable.

Fast forward 10 years and my little cousins are not that little anymore and my friends have a family of their own.

If I could speak to my younger self, as part of my money confessions, I would say to save money for Christmas shopping every month starting in January and to be smart of ‘what I buy’. Toys are no longer as cheap as it were 10 years ago, and as kids get older, toys may not be an interest anymore.

Here are my money confessions coming from a 30-year-old who now dreads Christmas shopping.

I’m not going to lie when I say I dread Christmas shopping. This year, I didn’t expect my list to grow by 12 kids.


In total, I had to shop for 73 people which include both adults and kids from both sides of the family (the boyfriend and I). The list also included our friend’s kids and any secret Santa games we were a part of. This doesn’t even include the food that I had to buy for any gatherings that were planned.

I felt broke.

I wanted to cry.

If I saw my younger self, I would say plan better for families with multiple kids.

Money Confessions #1 – Plan Better for Next Year

I honestly started saving $50 a month back in May and I did great! I used the money to buy school and art supplies on clearance from summer time. It covered 20 kids and I was pretty darn proud of myself.

I stopped saving after that and figured that I’ll be fine in November when there were more sales going on.

Nope. Murphy hit me instead. He hit me pretty hard.

We didn’t expect additional payments for preschool and life insurance, but it needed to be done. But because of these additional expenses, it killed whatever I could have saved per month.

Money Confessions #2 – I Shouldn’t Have Shopped Individually

One of the biggest mistakes I made was that I was shopping for each kid individually. What I should have done instead was buy one item that was good for 2 or more kids. This way, siblings and possibly parents can all play together. This also doesn’t break my bank account into a million pieces, it will actually help me save money.

Some examples would be board games, homemade treats, or some art kits.

Continue Reading...  9 Ways to Entertain Your Kids Without Going Broke

Money Confessions #3 – Clearances Would’ve Saved My Bank Account

I have always been into couponing and I would always be on the lookout for sweet deals, but ever since I started my journey, I slowed down with couponing and only shopped when needed.

I should’ve paid more attention to the seasonal clearance, summer items would’ve been perfect gifts since Hawaii never snows.

Continue Reading...  Couponing to Be Debt Free in Hawaii Because Cost of Living is Ridiculous

Money Confessions #4 – I Should’ve Chopped Off My List

I reeaaallly should’ve chopped off my list. But it was hard. I had my usuals to shop for, but this year for some reason, I had to add more people to the list. We had family moved down here from the Phillippines, friends visiting from the mainland, and Christmas gatherings changed everything.

Thank goodness for savings but still, I should’ve chopped down my list and only shop for close friends and immediate family members.

Money Confessions #5 – Hard Lessons Learned

With an additional $1,000 expense for preschool and life insurance to pay for monthly, it really threw me a curveball this year. I’m pretty sure I can’t handle another hit like this again next year so I better step up my game and plan better.

How was your Christmas shopping this year? Did you survive?

Helpful Resources that I’d Like to Share:

Below you’ll find my top resources for blogging, saving money & more!

Blog Resources: Here is a list of tools that I personally use for my own blog. See all the courses I took to improve how I blog and the list of plugins that help keep my blog running smoothly.

Save Money on Groceries: This has been such a struggle for me since day 1 and I always go over budget with grocery shopping on certain weeks. But as long as I stick with my plan, I have my shopping list, and I leave the boyfriend home then I’ll be fine.

$5 Meal Plan: This has been such a time saver for me! This relates to my resource above on grocery shopping. I struggled with meal prepping because I just don’t have the time to spend looking for recipes. I decided to try this out because I have seen popular bloggers mention it and curiosity got the best of me. The system sends me recipes and a shopping list weekly. The recipes are so easy to cook and it helps me save time.

Personal Capital: Do you know what your net worth is currently? Instead of logging into many accounts to track my net worth, I rely on one service. Personal Capital tracks your investments, expenses, and savings. The best thing about this? It’s free!

Free Printables: I went a bit crazy and created a bunch of my own printables that I use for myself to help keep me organized. I also find some amazing printables online that I’d like to share with you. You access everything if you sign up below. I’ll send you the password and the library is yours to enjoy!

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Hi! Welcome to Mommy Finance. I'm a full-time working mom of one. Finance can drive anyone crazy and I try to keep it together. Join me as I write about budgeting, money and family.
Join Me On

Hi! Welcome to Mommy Finance. I'm a full-time working mom of one. Finance can drive anyone crazy and I try to keep it together. Join me as I write about budgeting, money and family.

Comments (6)

  1. I noticed there are a lot of Ross stores in Hawaii! I went there on Black Friday and they didn’t have any extra sale haha. Probably because everything is marked down so much already.

    Wow, 70+ people to shop for! That’s a lot!! We have some friends who have some babies same age as our baby and they already started giving small ‘gifts’ to our baby! It’s starting already!! We are not really aware of the gifting etiquette and don’t really want to participate in it, but it’s hard otherwise we will look like scrooges. So yeah, buying stuff ahead of time on clearance is a good idea or even just giving a gift card or baked goods. I think people will understand. I don’t think people like so much clutter/ toys anyways.
    GYM recently posted…How Maternity Leave is Like a Mini-RetirementMy Profile

    1. Ross never has extra sales but they do have some pretty good clearance items if you’re able to find some lol. My friend always finds clothing items for under $5 and sometimes under $1. I’m never that lucky.

      As for the gifting etiquette, it can be quite hard lol. We had to host a Christmas party which is why I had to shop for additional kids. They all came to house! For us, we just like to reciprocate as much as we can, especially when it comes to presents for the kids.

  2. Ross and Marshalls all the way! Great deals and stuff for everyone. As a matter of fact, I’m headed there today to find something for a lower price and then hopefully return something I got from the mall (crossing fingers). Think of the holiday season as a challenge to come under budget 😉
    SMM recently posted…Your Crazy Spending Helps The Rest of UsMy Profile

    1. I wish we had a Marshalls here! We also have TJ Maxx and their prices aren’t too bad. This holiday season caused me too much stress. Even tho I planned ahead of time there were many unexpected things that came up that killed my budget. I had to dip into my emergency fund. I will definitely plan better for next better as well as the thought that we might be hosting another Christmas party.

  3. Wow 70 people!? You might as well started your Christmas shopping at the beginning of the year. Hopefully your expenses wasn’t too crazy during the holidays.
    Maybe some of your family/friends should do a Secret Santa or White Elephant next year so you would only give one gift for that group of people. I did a Secret Santa with a group of friends for a few years and it was fun. We get together before during the holidays to pick out the names then a few weeks later meet up again to exchange gifts.
    Kris recently posted…Expense Chronicles – December 2017 Holiday Shopping and Using Gift CardsMy Profile

    1. I am planning better this year lol. I actually started shopping at the ending of Summer when the clearances started rolling out. I was actually halfway done. Then as December started creeping closer, my list started growing. It was ridiculous. I’m definitely shopping ever smarter this year and saving up for anything unexpected that might be happening in December….like a house party that we had to host lol.

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