Christmas budgets sometimes hard to maintain

By Daria Laycock
Outlook writer

If you blew your budget this holiday season you are not alone. Tallahassee residents spend on average between $100 and $500 on Christmas, according to a short survey of college aged students by the Capital Outlook.

Many times shoppers like Kevencia Faton find themselves spending money they didn’t intend to. Christmas spending simply is a slippery slope.

“I got sucked into doing a white elephant gift exchange with 10 other friends,” Faton said. “I didn’t want to spend the money but someone is spending money on me so I have to.”

Statistics also show that most residents buy gifts for more than five people, which reflects on their overall spending.

Five people would be a low number for Wilshire Counsell.

“I have three kids I spend about $100 on each of them,” she said. “Also I buy for my husband, my sister, my mom and a few of my friends and coworkers. Now that I think about it,  it adds up.”

Counsell is right. While overall expenditures exceed $500. On average gift spending per person is at just about $37.

While spending on gifts can seem extravagant, it pales in comparison to the amount spent on food and decorations for the holidays. Thirty percent of those who host Christmas at their own home spend over $200 on food and 47 percent spend over $50 on decorations.

Shae Augustine started with a $20 Christmas decoration budget but has spent more than five times that amount.

“I really wanted to make the house feel like Christmas,” she said. “I originally planned to spend $20 on tinsel and a wreath. Then I saw a tree for $7 at the thrift store, then I needed lights. It got out of control for sure.”