Post Christmas Musings

Well, I can now check two things off that list of new house things I want/need.  For the White Elephant gift exchange, my guy got the rug we wanted/needed for our kitchen.  Instead of keeping it, after the gift exchanging was done, we traded it to his mom for a smaller carpet that is perfect for out kitchen (the one he won matched her bedroom amazingly but wouldn’t have gone the greatest in our place) and for two smaller area rugs that his grandma had made.  I won a brand new set of towels with a wicker basket–which is awesome as we wanted new towels and I wanted a basket for the bathroom.  We were both really happy.

I also am going to get to plan a baby shower for his sister.  I’m extremely excited.  I told her to let me know when she finds out the gender and to also let me know where she is registering.

Other than that, I get my last check for December on Friday.  I will be updating my goals then.  I’m excited for it.  I know that I didn’t really get all of them done that I wanted to but I got a few!  I’m not sure how to do January’s goals as I know that for part of it I will be getting the same amount of pay as I do now.  So I believe that what I’m going to do is make my budget and goals as I normally would.  Come February I  will make changes as needed.  As said previously, we are going to try to save more and pay down debt.  If my guy gets my current job (which would be awesome so have some happy thoughts for him) we might revisit our misc. money budget but as of right now. we are going to mostly stay the same.  We think the most we might do is bump up our grocery budget by $50–we include small house items in this budget and are still having to buy some things food wise that are normally stocked.

How was your Christmas/holidays?  Did you stay in you gift budget? (We went over by $50 but took that $50 out of our house fund as our White Elephant gift that we first bought was than changed into a house item)

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Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone takes the day to be with loved ones and friends. Stay safe and have a great day!


Christmas Memories

    So after all that talk about the three-month paycheck, guess what? I completely forgot I have one more paycheck to go.  So I’ll wait until after that last paycheck to go over my (mostly failed) goals!  Instead, I wanted to talk about something that has nothing to do with my current finances but is about the magic of Christmas.

     When I was little, (and no short jokes!) under the age of 12 I do believe, my family of five was really struggling to make ends meet.  To the point of we had barely any food, very little in the way of warm clothes (and I lived in a climate that needed those clothes for the winter months) and no money for toys (not important I know but I was also young).  My parents didn’t let on too much but I remember my mom talking about how she wanted to let us kids know that she didn’t know if Santa would be able to make it.  I don’t remember the exact reason she used but I knew the real reason and just kept quiet as my youngest brother still believed.   We went on Christmas day to go visit some family in the area but when we got back, Santa had come and visited us. 

      He left us a note saying he was sorry he hadn’t been able to get to our house sooner, but it was an awfully big package and slowed his reindeer down.  In this package, we found food, warm clothes and even a toy each for us three kids.   It was one of the better Christmas memories I have.  I “know” that it wasn’t “Santa” but the community we lived in that reached out to help one of its own.  But you know what? I believed very strongly that day and every Christmas season since then, that magic comes back.  

      I always try to donate some change to the Salvation Army or any food or clothes that I have that is not wanted by me.   Some years are harder than others.  This year, I have donated several handfuls of change/dollars and some very nice clothes (or will be—these are still at my house as I’m going through all of my clothes) that just no longer fit me or are not my style.  I always remember that people gave to me and I want to give back.  So that’s my Christmas memory of the day. 

      Do you have any Christmas memories that come back every year?


Done!

       So my Christmas shopping is done.  Okay mostly done.  I have things ordered on-line, hit up Wal-Mart to finish it.  I have wrapped most everything.  I am thinking about buying one more thing for my guy–but I might not.  I got a good deal on most of the things I bought and we only have to buy some candy for the stockings.

      So at least one of my goals for December is done.  Not all of them as I completely ended up changing them due to the holidays and the move.  So that kind of sucks, but oh well.  I’ll give an update on my goals on Monday or so.

     I still have a ton of stuff to do today but apparently we aren’t going to be doing them as we (and read he) are watching football.  Joy.

      How is your  weekend going?


Whoops!

          So apparently neither of us are very good listeners.  We both thought the White Elephant gift was to be $50 each—apparently it was to be $30 (at the most) each.  So now we have to find two smaller gifts at $25 each.  The bedding we are going to use for our “house purchase” at this time.  We planned on getting a vacuum but that will have to wait another month—the money we did have saved for this has to buy one of our White Elephant gifts, if not both.  He’s going to go looking today—I told him as we both want some trays for when we eat in the living room (no kitchen table yet) that would be my White Elephant gift.  He’s going to look for something nice but cheap.  I told him that ideally if we could not spend more than $35 for both White Elephant gifts that would make me happy. 

          I got most of my Secret Santa gift bought this weekend.  It was strangely hard to do—I thought it would be easier than it was as the person I’m buying for is an artist.  Apparently when you are a non artist like me, picking out art supplies is hard to do.   So I bought him one tiny art thing, and then went to the store where I found some items of the college team he likes.  So that’s mostly taken care of—I still have to buy his big gift item but I already have that picked out—just waiting to buy it when I have money on my card.  I might actually have to have my guy buy it as I don’t want to wait too long to buy it.  It is getting close to Christmas after all.

            Other than that, we were both really happy to see that we are getting some savings already by moving back to town.  We were budgeting $80 in gas—sometimes that was enough for the two-week period, sometimes we had to scrimp by or use some of the misc. money.  This week, we barely used it.  On last Friday, we were only a little under half of a tank.  For us, Fridays were meaning we NEEDED to fill up.  So we’ve talked about it and after this pay period, we are going to budget $60 a pay period.    We are going to use this pay period as a gauge.  We will budget the $80 and then see how we do.  We’ve already decided that any “left over” money will be going into the new car fund.  Even though we are saving up for a washer/dryer at this point, I think that we will continue to do this.  That way if we have a bit of driving to do one period, we’ll be able to take it from that fund without feeling too guilty.  

              We are looking into (and by ‘we’ I mean I looked it up and he’s going to the company) internet services today—we can’t afford to have installation right now but I looked at a promotion that said “free installation” and the only thing we would have to buy is the modem.  This won’t be a problem if we can buy the modem when the bill is due.  So we will see.  

                Did you get Christmas shopping done? Am I a slow poke?


Weekend Plans (our first in the new place!)

          Okay maybe not our first one, but our first real one.  Sure I was in the new place all last weekend, but we didn’t offically move there until Sunday.   Well, I’m hoping to get the house cleaned up—we need to return the vacuum cleaner we borrowed and a few other things, so I’m hopeful that we will clean everything up before we go out to his parents’ house on Sunday.    This means getting more things unpacked and moved around.  You’d think this would be easy with the tiny place we have, but for some reason it is still hard.  I think that’s mostly due to having a lack of storage place and that we work, so most things have a few hours to get done.  We aren’t (read: can’t) just going to go out and buy a bunch of shelving/storage units—we want to but the responsible thing would be to slowly accumulate these items.   So far we decided we need something in the bathroom, something in the office, and something in the back room.   We also need a desk.  As we aren’t using a computer right now, the desk is low in our priority list.

                We are going to go do our laundry tonight.  We need to do it and as of right now, we are going to have to do it once every two weeks.  I normally like to do it once a week but when we have to go to the laundry mat, we need to balance our time as well.   He doesn’t really like to leave it and I generally just follow along.  If it was just me, I can normally time it and just leave and get things done.  I’ve found that I really dislike not being able to multitask while I’m waiting on the laundry.  But whatever, I’m able to bend when we’re doing it together—that’s the compromise I made with him.  I’ll stay and sit there as long as he’s with me but if it is just me doing it, I will leave it and come back. 

                On Saturday, I’m unpacking and cleaning. And probably heading to the post office to get some stamps for our Chirstmas cards. He’s going to seal the windows in the back room to make it more air tight.   It’s really Sunday that I’m looking forward to.  My guy is going to his parents to watch football but his mom and I are going to go watch a movie we have both wanted to see.  So I’m excited over that and have been saving my money up for it.  My guy told me that I can offer to pay for us (we want to hit the matinée so it will be cheaper) and I’m hoping she takes me up on the offer.    But at least I can make the offer even if she doesn’t accept it. And maybe even get some Christmas shopping done.  I’ll admit I’ve been falling behind on this.  Part of it is, if we don’t get internet, my gift to the guy is kind of useless. (It’s a Xbox Live Gold Membership for a year)  I might still get it as we want to have internet in January.   And I’m thinking about a hat or something else.  I don’t know exactly what yet.

                What do you have planned for your weekend? Is a spendy one or spendless?


Black Friday

                  I hope that your Thanksgiving went well! Ours was really great—our dinner ended up being at 10 am as we wanted to eat when the turkey was fresh and hot (deep-fried turkey is the yum).  This was actually a really good decision—he got to watch his football games without it interrupting our meal and clean up and we got to eat Thanksgiving dinner two times in one day.  We definitely could have spent a little less money on our meal—we had plenty of left over’s.  But we weren’t sure if another person or two were going to be joining us so we thought it better to be prepared.   Oh and you remember that “less than $25” that I wanted to spend the other day? Well it turned out to be $28—I was so hungry when we shopping that I picked up more than I wanted to.   

                   We are currently kicking around taking some money from the $500 fund—I really don’t want to but I also know that it’s not a very important fund.  But I defiantly don’t want to do what he wants to do and use it for Christmas.  What is the point of a Christmas budget if you can’t keep to it? Granted I might go over on mine—but I am going to be using my personal money to pay the difference.  And I’m going to try to not go over it.

                  In other news, I have started that bank fund—I put a whopping $5 in it. Woo.  But I know that will help in the long run.  (The very long run)

                 Today has gone by soooooo slowly—my work was so dead.  We are going to try to do some shopping today—which I’m ambivalent about.  I figure it is a really good thing for me to be there as I can be the voice of reason and frugality.  That is probably the main reason I’m going.   I really am not a huge fan of shopping in the first place—I don’t mind it on occasion but I always find myself wandering around aimlessly, not really buying anything as I’m “cheap”.   This to me is a huge waste of time. I also don’t really like shopping right now as I’m highly concerned with the massive debt we have (mostly me).   But he noticed that some of the bed sets are really, really cheap—so we may go do our White Elephant shopping and if things go well, we may be able to get 1 thing extra. 

                    Did you go Black Friday shopping? If you did, did you have a budget you stuck to? Or did you stay at home or at work?