Sunday, December 7, 2008

No Christmas Budget

I haven’t been doing a monthly budget update like normal because basically we haven’t been following a budget. Well at least not in my opinion, it’s a very loose budget, we’ve been putting all our extra money into our house fund and now that it’s fully funded we’ll start a new budget in January. (details to come)

Not following a budget is a very weird feeling, one I haven’t adjusted to yet. I feel like we just have money flying out of our savings account. I hate the fact that I don’t really know where everything is or where it’s going. I do, but not as much as I used to. I can’t wait to get back to using a detailed budget again.

Last night I was having a small panic attack about the amount we’ve spent on Christmas shopping this year and decided it was time to total it all up and deal with the damage. With everything else we had going on I didn’t really set a budget, I was just hoping for the best…not a great idea.

Thankfully both my sides of the family happily agreed to a no gift Christmas. We’ll do a small gathering at my Mother’s house and dinner with my Father and younger sister to celebrate with little or no gifts. I wasn’t sure how they’d respond when I mentioned it but both seemed open to the idea and I must admit it has taken so much stress off us. Not having to worry about what will be the perfect gift and how much it will cost. It allows you to enjoy the holiday spirit a little more.

We’re still doing gifts on Matthew’s side but they are very toned down. We’ll be doing a dinner with the whole family but only exchanging gifts with immediately family after. So that leaves me with nine people to purchase gifts for, four adults and five children. As of today we have finished our shopping all for $156.96. So much less than I thought we had spent.

I still need to purchase ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies, but I don’t expect that to cost much. We’ll be giving baskets of cookies to each family during Christmas dinner, both of us will be taking some to work during Christmas week, and I plan to donate a few dozen to our church.

In all this is our most economical Christmas to date. I will definitely be suggesting another no gift Christmas next year. And best of all it looks like my new spending habits are really taking hold, even when I’m not necessarily trying. This could be a life style change after all.