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Christmas Shopping

December 20th, 2009 at 01:59 pm

I have just about finished my Christmas shopping this year. That is a first. I am usually that last minute person because I am waiting on money. But this year, the way my paydays fall, I was able to get most of it done. The only thing I have left is to get some cash for my son to wrap in boxes and a gamestop gift card. Then I will be done. Everything I have so far is wrapped and under the tree. WOW...so this is what that feels like!

I had a budget of $200/child. I spent $181 on DD and will give DS the cash equivalent. I did get him a couple of things, but will give the cash up to the same value. And I feel they will both have a good Christmas. This is the least I have spent in years!!! Budget still looks okay and intact. WIll have to do some tweaking though.

Back to Work and Back on Track

December 29th, 2008 at 08:26 am

Getting up was really hard this morning, but I managed to do it. I am back at work, already dreaming of Thursday, which is another holiday and trying to figure out how I can stretch it. Might try to take either Wednesday or Friday off too.

I also have looked at my budget! YIKES! I picked probably the worst time of the year to start living by a budget. But I can do this. I have to make some massive changes(I thought it would be okay, but looking again, I realized that it is worse than I thought). So I am essentially starting over again. I am not sure how I got this far out of whack. I paid attention to everything I bought. I closely stuck to my Christmas budget. I must have mis calculated something. Not whining, just saying,not things can get out of control even whenyou are paying attention! But I am back on track now!

I have a new saving goal.(I will update sidebar later) My sister gave us a trip to florida for Christmas. 6 nights. She paid for the hotel and the rental car. We have to come up with the rest of the money(food, gas, tickets to parks). I have 4 one day tickets to disney left from the last time we went about 6 years ago. So that will help. We are making a plan this time. We are figuring out which parks we really want to visit and working around that. We won't be spending money for tickets to parks that we don't care about seeing.

Not so Jolly Christmas Update

December 24th, 2008 at 06:09 pm

This is not a financial post, but I have to vent.

We always spend Christmas Eve with my family. It is usually a boring time and I can't wait to get home because of the lack of activity. This Christmas Eve was especially memorable. We were there all of about 15 minutes before my brother threw his plate and said he was going home. He stopped long enough to yell at my husband and then his daughter had to take him home(because he lost his license for his, I don't know, 5th? dui). She drove him home yelling at him the whole way.

My dad was hovering really badly tonight. He was driving me crazy. And my sister was getting louder telling him to sit down and let others take care of things, which pissed my father off and he almost exploded. These were just a couple of the highlights of the day.

I lost my keys and spent a good 25 minutes looking for them. finally found them pushed up under the sink in the bathroom. good thing...I was fixing to start walking the 7 miles home in the thunderstorm.

Still trying to avoid eating out and another issue

December 22nd, 2008 at 01:12 pm

My daughter had a violin performance yesterday. My husband and I were both starving afterward and although we were about 9 miles from home, in our previous spending life, we would have driven straight to the Hardee's across the street. However, we stuck it out and went home to eat. I realize that this may seem like the obvious thing for some of you, but not too long ago, I had troubles avoiding eating out for convenience, especially when I am with someone else. This was really a huge thing for me. I have found that my cravings for the fast food have died down too.

I am also having a hard time making the right decision on another issue. My best friend has MS and has not been able to work for quite some time. Her husband has been saving for Christmas and I thought it was all taken care of. She told me last night that although they have the big presents, they don't have any presents under the tree(oogling presents until Christmas is part of the fun for small children). Since I love her kids like my own, I am starting to feel guilty about the amount of money i spent on my children(which was a minimal amount this year). Well, not exactly feel guilty, but more like horrible that I can't help her kids more. My sisters have purchased quite a bit in addition to what I have purchased, so my kids each have more than a few presents under the tree. If my BF had told me earlier, I would have gone right out and purchased at least a couple of things per child to go under the tree. But now I have exhausted my Christmas budget...and if I do buy anything, it will seriously throw my regular budget out of whack, unless I can figure something else out. The old me wouldn't have cared. The new me is fighting a raging battle against the old me. For now the new me is winning.

Why does doing something right for myself also make me feel so bad?

Weekend Spending and Christmas Update

December 22nd, 2008 at 08:16 am

I finished my shopping this weekend! YEAH! I stayed within $50 of my budget as well! Another YEAH! My daughter has to finish up her shopping, and my son has to do his. But they both already have money for that.

Since I finished my shopping, this weekend was a spendy one. We spent $171 at Walmart. This looks really bad, but when I divided among the people we bought for(that was already budgeted) and the household items we bought, it really isn't that bad, especially since it had all been budgeted for! I went to the grocery store on Saturday and spent $123. I forgot that my children would be out of school and at home the next couple of weeks and they needed simple things to cook for lunch/breakfast. This wasn't planned, but usually I spend about $300 when I overspend at the Grocery store, so this is actually quite an accomplishment!

I had to make some minor adjustments to my budget, but it is still on track. I even managed to get some presents wrapped and under the tree yesterday!

Christmas Gift Received

December 19th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

My boss took me and the other girl out to lunch today. It was very nice. He gave us our gift. His wife gave us the nicely wrapped boxes and said "Gary doesn't like gift cards, so consider this gift a really nice gift card. If you don't like/want it you can take it back and get what you want." I thought this was really funny!

but the gift is perfect! They got us each a digital camcorder with the memory card to go with it! I am so excited! I was looking to buy one with my tax return in february, so this actually will save me money! I haven't had one in a long time so I havent been able to record my daughter's cheerleading competitions. This is really perfect!

Have I said that I really love my job and the people I work for/with?

I really love my job(no sarcasm intended)

December 18th, 2008 at 01:05 pm

Okay...I have been emotionally absent for a couple of days. I have been stressing about making it through the week. But tomorrow if Friday, payday and I managed to make it. But because of my spending sprees that last few days(at the grocery store of all places!) I have managed to throw my budget completely off whack, fixable, but off whack. I think that when I don't blog about my spending that I don't tend to keep it in check. So I am back...going to have to start being a regular again.

The good news is that I just have two more items(headphones) to buy for Christmas and then stocking stuffers for my children. At least that is what I think now...seems people keep popping up that I forgot about.

More good news...my boss told me that I am the best person he has ever had in the position I hold. YEAH!! That is quite a compliment coming from him, not that he is an ogre to work for, but he has high expectations. He is also taking me and the other office girl out to lunch tomorrow...since I handle the finances, I know there is no bonus involved, but perhaps a nice present(he doesnt have cheap taste either!)

Cheerleading is a short practice tonight due to the Christmas party. Another YEAH! Working on bookmarks for daughter to give her teachers. Really worked very well, just more time consuming that I thought they would be.

Weekend and Christmas Update

December 14th, 2008 at 10:50 am

It moved quickly and didn't last that long. But I managed to not spend any money while there! My parents had given me money for gas and they bought dinner. So the only money I spent was the $3 over the $20 they gave me for gas. Enjoyable evening for little money.

One of our older dogs bit our new puppy(Socks) last night. The new puppy was trying to get his food. It was horrible! Socks' eye is swollen shut and he has a gash on his head! Called the vet and they said to watch him, but there really wasn't much they would do.

Went to church this morning for my daughters violin performance. It was the stangest church service I have been to...not strange as in wierd but as in the preacher didn't really preach. He spoke for about 15 minutes about joy and then it was done.

We got the house cleaned up today after church...and my husband is now working on laundry. Feel very productive so far...but I am avoiding our bedroom!

While I should be done with my Christmas shopping for my kids, I have it set in my mind to get my daughter another present. I should be done...she will have quite a few presents because my sister keeps buying things. So I am going to try to resist getting her a gift cert for a perm. I feel good about where I am with the kids and know they will have a good Christmas. Still have a few things to get for a few people, but those will be small items.

Still managing to stick to the budget. Haven't had to deviate too far from it. Might have to take Socks to the walkin in clinic tomorrow, but it is far less than the normal vet and shouldn't throw us too far off budget.

Going to the Symphony

December 12th, 2008 at 06:52 am

Let me start by saying that I have never been one to appreciate the "arts". My parents and my sister(17 years older than I) tried to instill this is in me, but it never quite go there. We went to plays every year...went to musuems, etc and I was always bored out of my mind!

Well, this sister bought my parents tickets to the symphony for Christmas. Only one problem...my parents are in the thier late 70's and do not feel comfortable driving to Atlanta and bank after dark(about a 2 hour drive). So I volunteered to drive them. My daughter also wants to attend as she has turned into quite the musician lately. So we are all loading up and heading to the big city this evening for a night of culture...except of course for my husband who tactfully declined.

Good news is that I won't have to spend any money. If we eat anything, my parents will buy it and they have already given me money for gas.

Christmas Shopping Update

December 10th, 2008 at 04:37 pm

I finally got into the Christmas mood last night. We got our tree up(the skimpy little white tree), put the outside decorations up, and put out most of the accumulated decorations(at least the ones we are going to put out). So I am done as far as decorating.

We went tonight and got stepson's present. Picked up 2 things for daughter. So far, still under budget for each kid. My son is done, as he got a more expensive item. Christmas is still looking pretty good as far as the budget is concerned.

SS - 200
Daughter - 48

Total for today - $248.00

I beat temptation!!!

December 8th, 2008 at 07:16 am

Those who follow my blogs, know that I was tempted to purchase a tree at Lowe's this weekend. I beat that temptation(not going anywhere near lowes helped!) and didn't purchase the tree. I will use my skimpy white tree this year and next year I will be able to purchase a tree.


Trying to Resist...

December 5th, 2008 at 05:27 pm

Okay...so I made the decision today that we wouldn't get a real tree. While I used to love having a real tree in the house...they have lost their appeal to me. I have a white skimpy tree that I will use...but wait...Lowes has marked all of their Christmas stuff down 50%. They have a beautiful tree for $99, normally $199. They only have a few left. I have this much in my savings(barely), but I am torn. I don't want to spend it but at the same time I keep telling myself that this is a great deal that I shouldn't let get by. This is how I get into trouble. I save a few bucks and than a "great deal" comes along...and most of the time it isn't a need, but a want.

So...I am sitting here at home trying to talk myself out of getting this tree tomorrow when we have to go right by Lowes(30 miles from my house). I don't need it. We will be fine without it. But why is it so hard to resist????

Found Money...Sort Of

December 5th, 2008 at 07:51 am

I had to have a CT Scan done a couple of months ago, and since I hadn't met my deductible, I had to pay for it. I paid for 1/2 of it($100) and set up payments for the rest. I failed to set up the payment for November in my bill pay(I LOVE BILL PAY!!!) so I called today to explain what had happened and that I would send a double payment, for November and December. I asked her what the balance was and she said that I didn't have a balance, in fact, I had a credit. I was in shock. She looked at it and it turns out my insurance paid the whole thing!!! I have $100 credit! She is going to request that a check be cut and will call me next week when it is ready! So not only did I gain the $100, but I also gained the $60 that I had in my budget for the payment. Total is $160 "found money". Since I overlooked my husbands son(see previous posts), this will come in handy. I can un-adjust my budget and still stay in line! YEAH!!!

Someone Slipped My Mind

December 4th, 2008 at 06:08 am

As I was patting myself on the back yesterday for having a plan for Christmas and staying on budget, I realized I had forgotten someone rather important...my husbands son! Let me say that his son is 15 years old and my husband only recently found out about him. My husband spends quite a bit of time with him, but he doesn't frequent our house. This is the first year that we have had him in our lives to buy Christmas presents for. No excuse really...But the situation has been corrected and we are going to get his present next week. Had to make slight modifications to the Christmas budget, but will still be able to stay on track.

My Parents Christmas Gift

December 3rd, 2008 at 06:40 am

My mom asked me last month about my mortgage, whether it was on time or how late it was. I told her it was almost 30 days late, but that I wasn't worried. I had reached a point where the stress was literally killing me so I decided that I am doing the best I can and if they decided to take the house, I knew I would be okay. There is a calmness that comes with knowing that you will be okay, as long as you are doing the best you can. She also asked about my property taxes, which I still owe some on last years and this years are due this month. When we stopped this morning, she gave me an envelope with a check for my property taxes. She told me Merry Christmas.

My parents have always been there to help me when I needed it. But up until about 2 years ago, I relied on them too much and almost expected them to help me. Now I am trying to not be dependent on them and it feels really good.

I am rambling, but my point is that my parents see the difference I have made and are now choosing to help instead of me constantly asking them for money. I don't expect it and they know that. It makes a huge difference in my self opinion. They ask me the situation...I honestly tell them but make it clear that it will be fine.

I love my family!

December 2nd, 2008 at 08:15 am

Well, as I mentioned earlier, one of my sisters and I split the cost of a laptop for my son. His desktop finally died last night so this is perfect timing. We got a super deal and the best part is that I can make 2 payments to her for my portion! YEA!

My other sister found a Wii...last one at Walmart. I will pay her for it on December 19th. By postponing these payments, I am able to stay on the budget I had planned. I wasn't going to have the money for Christmas until the 19th,and by then, these items would have been hard to find.

BONUS= Since my kids wanted such pricey items this year, they are only getting one thing a piece. So I am done! Sure, I have to get some stocking stuffers, but that is easy. Lotion, toothpaste, etc. essentials that I won't have to purchase otherwise.

It will be hard to not have so many presents under the tree,, but that is my obsession, not theirs. They will be extremely happy with their "toys".