Budget Update: Christmas Gifts

Last year I did a pretty good job Christmas planning and shopping. I made a list and then tracked it to see if I had enough room in the budget. While I increased my gift budget this year based on my Christmas spending I quickly realized that I underestimated how many gift giving occasions currently occur in my life.

So once again I was in the position of using my budget loophole to ensure that I didn’t go into debt to afford the presents I wanted to give. I’m really glad that I considered my gift list in August so I was able to begin shopping in September. While the actual items varied in some cases the value of them was relativily consistent with the exception of one person who I opted to spend 3 times the budgeted amount on.

This decision is because this family member rarely asks for anything much less expensive things. I was given the option of purchasing 1 of 3 items but opted to purchase 2 of the 3 items on their wish list. The joy it gives me to treat this person is worth the overspending.

The interesting thing with Christmas 2016 presents is that I’m spending less than the amount I anticipated but because I dipped into the Gift budget line so often over the year I’m feeling the pinch.

My plan in 2017 is to maintain the amount I’m putting in this line as I suspect if I increase it I may just spend more. However, I will also plan to use any money that is not specifically allocated to a savings line in the latter part of the year to the gift line.

All this being said, the gifts that I’m really trying to give are these:

 

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What steps do you to take to give the gifts that you want to during the Holiday season?

 

photo from here

Crafty Christmas Update

The Hot Chocolate gifts have been a hit!

I added a few embellishments and they’ve gone from decent gift to something that people have been absolutely thrilled to get.

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I’m also pleased to report that it appears that I made exactly the right amount for our gift giving. I had thought we would only need nine but had opted to make a dozen and it was a great decision. It allowed me to give tokens to people I hadn’t anticipated or to add it to an existing present.

Gilmore Girls Day

I came of age during the Gilmore Girls hey day. I wanted to be like Rory, in fact I was already a lot like Rory, minus the gorgeous boy and fantastic mother-daughter relationship. So when I found out there was going to be a revival a friend and I  immediately went into planning mode.

We planned a girl day with loads of junk food. As you know,  I can be a Pinterest addict. A search brought up a host of ideas some were time consuming ( homemade pop tarts) while others were costly ( specialty glassware). I had great intentions about making treats for us based on the show but in the end I did a grocery run.

As a way to keep myself in check I budgeted $10 for treats. It worked, sort of…I went shopping the day of too good a sale.

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We had an awesome party and would have definitely made Lorelai proud!

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While I learnt I can make $10 go very far in the junk food aisle the food hangover reminded me exactly why I shouldn’t.

Absence

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I  truly posted! The post  was important because it served as a reminder that though things are good I’m allowed to feel tired and I don’t need to be perfect.

Shortly after posting that I took a mini break from all social media. While my plan hadn’t been to take a break from blogging unfortunately I did do that as well. While the break was needed the delay in blogging was also because I try to make this my mantra:

quotes bambi thumper be nice

I’ve found myself overly critical of people and as this is a blog about trusting myself and being open I wanted to protect this space from negativity.

Good news: I’m back!

I’m a bit emotionally battered as we’ve had two deaths in our circle in less than a week. While both deaths were from natural causes they’ve opened up some difficult conversations between us.

We’re contemplating the mortality of our own parents as well as have recently made a date to document our plans in the event of our own demise. Not really the sort of thing that makes you feel the joy of the season!

On the brighter side: ML & I are taking a week off together before Christmas. The Plan: nothing. Not a darn thing! We’re going to spend the time relaxing with each other and ending 2016 positively.

How has your month been?

Debriefing November 2016

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TRACKING

  •  # Buy nothing days :10 days
  • # times used S’mores Maker (aiming for 8 uses in 2016): 2+0=2
  • # times used champagne saucers (aiming for 7 uses in 2016): 4+4=8
  • # times ate out:6
  • # activities with friends/family: 8
  • % over or under budget:.3% over budget.
  • % of goal put toward ML’s debt: 100%

CELEBRATE:

  • ML and I celebrated our anniversary on a budget and t was fantastic! We took a couple days just for us
  • Though I was over budget it was my bills that had me this way rather than overspending
  • I’m tracking my budget here rather htan my income. I got a bit of an increase in November as certain automatic payments aren’t taken in November so my gifts were able to come out of this excess.

DIP INTO SAVINGS/CREDIT

  • My gift line has been cleaned out
  • My insurance didn’t cover all of an appointment so the savings went to that
  • my dream got paid out of my Life Happens line

KEEP IN MIND

  • Next year I need to figure out my Christmas gift line so I’m prepared
  • No is a complete sentence! I need to learn how to say it nicely to people when their suggested events do not fit into our budget.

OVERALL

November seems so long ago! I felt good in the month but my gift line began to stress me. I also went a bit overboard already in December so I’m going to work at not let my spendthrift side take over.

Image courtesy arztasumia via freedigitalphotos.net