Poll the Parents 4: Holiday Gift Budget—Busted or in the Black?

In our fourth Poll the Parents survey, moms and dads confessed whether they stuck to their budget or went for broke when buying presents for their little ones.

The question was: Did you stick to your budget for the kids’ presents this holiday season?

  • A) Yes! I was under budget.
  • B) Maybe next year.
  • C) Budget? What budget?

In this poll, the majority of you (C, 42%) were willing to own up: You didn’t even make a budget for the kids’ holiday gifts this past holiday season. (Or maybe you started out with one, but it didn’t make it past the Hatchimals eBay resale market.) Just keep in mind that a little budget consciousness next December might save you a holiday hangover of high-rate credit card debt the following January. And brace yourselves when you see their little faces light up at the sight of next holiday season’s meltdown-worthy toy craze. (Your mantra: “I will not splurge! I will not splurge!”)

On the other hand, a good chunk of responses (A, 33%) came from those of you who made a budget for the kids’ presents and stuck to it. These savvy parents even emerged from the holidays with money to spare! What are your secrets, O wise ones? Do you DIY? Shut down the Toys “R” Us tantrums before they happen? Have some kind of deal with the big guys? (Meaning Hanukkah Harry and Santa, of course.)

Remember, though, even if you didn’t have a budget, there’s always next December. In answering B, 25% of you said that the 2017 holiday season might be a budgeted one, even if 2016 was a bust. You know what? You deserve our applause! Setting a good money management example for your kids—and setting limits for them—is a gift that will last a lifetime. And as for your kid’s new Hatchimal you sold your wedding china to buy? It might not even hatch.

Savviest shopper comment: “A. We actually came in UNDER budget at $65 …  And we didn’t skimp :)”

Zen-est comment: “Didn’t buy any gifts this year.” You don’t need a budget for the best things in life—they’re free, after all.