Archive for December 31, 2009

Bring on the New Year

So far I haven’t written any resolutions or decided on any new goals for the new year. Instead I want to spend the last day of the decade focused on all of the wonderful things that have happened over the last ten years. While I experienced my fair share of bumps in the road the last ten years also provided many wonderful moments and blessings for me. Before I look to the future I plan to take a moment to step back, reflect and count my blessings. There are so many amazing moments that I’m not sure I can remember them all.

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2009 at 11:00 PM Leave a comment

Did You Stick to Your Holiday Budget?

This year my husband and I agreed to stick to a holiday budget. As the year came to a close we refinanced both of our properties and paid quite a bit in closing costs and other mortgage related fees. We also spent nearly $2,000 on two short trips that were long overdue.

The members of our small, extended family also encountered quite a few unexpected expenses, so we all agreed to cut back on holiday purchases this season. Remarkably, my husband who absolutely loves to play the role of Santa also agreed.

My husband and I typically break down the shopping chores by family. I shop for my mom, dad, sister-in-law, nephew and niece, while he shops for his mom, dad and brother. There’s a bit of overlap in purchases but for the most part we stick to this model.

It’s much easier for me to stick to a budget, because my family tends to purchase only one or two gifts per person. My husband’s family really goes all out for Christmas and buys stacks and stacks of gifts for each other, so it’s a much bigger deal for them to cut back on purchases. I think it really helped that everyone agreed to spend less this season.

In the end my husband not only stuck to his budget but actually spent about $50 less than expected. In fact, if he hadn’t spent extra money on 2-day shipping, (a result of our late December vacation), he would have been about $150 below budget. I did my part this Christmas and came in about $130 under budget.

I think Christmas was more enjoyable this year because we focused much more on spending time with the people we love and spent much less time focusing on gifts. How about you? Did you stick to your holiday budget this season?

December 31, 2009 at 4:58 AM 3 comments


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