Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Progress - Financial & Otherwise

I wanted to do a recap of where I'm at with preparing for the holidays, so here goes!

  • We've created & ordered our holiday cards. We just need to fill them out & mail them. I bought stamps today, so I'm planning to get these mailed by Wednesday evening.
  • I've finished my package for M's family that I need to mail overseas. I need to get this in the mail by Monday or Tuesday in order to get it there by Christmas. I shudder to think how much the postage will cost. But, I did find a fabulous deal on the one last gift I was looking for. M's brother-in-law wanted the same shaving kit that M uses, and I've been purchasing of the items here & there when I think about it & had spent $18 for three items. Today I found a set that included 6 items (including the three I'd already purchased) for $12. I'll be returning the other items. Score!
  • Our tree is up & our house is decorated. We still need to hang our outdoor lights. (I say "we", but this is M's job. :-))
  • I'm not planning to do any Christmas baking this year, with the exception of baking either a holiday cake (we have a train & race car set) or cookies to decorate with the boys.
  • We've made craft gingerbread houses (i.e. not with candy) & the boys loved it & have the houses in their rooms as decorations.
  • The advent Calendar is filled, & treats are being enjoyed daily by the boys.
  • I'm done with my shopping! My family has really worked to cut back on gift exchanging (nothing between the adults) in order to keep the focus on the kids & streamline for everyone. I love it! I didn't miss the gift exchange at all last year. I'm giving M an "experience" oriented gift, which I'm very excited about. I feel like I made great choices for everyone & stayed within my budget, which is always a nice feeling. I may be getting gifts for my team at work, but I'm interviewing for a new team on Monday, so I haven't picked anything up yet, as things are in limbo. If I do give gifts, I generally stick to champagne.

And, here's the damage. My goal for the year was to keep my budget under $1000. I know that's still a ton of money, but I've cut this way, way down considering my old ways. :) I've had previous budgets of $3K+, and you know what, I didn't enjoy the holidays any more. It just meant more gifts to shop for, wrap, and find places for at our home.

*drumroll*. . . I have one other expense that I don't have an exact total for (postage, as noted above), so I'll estimate $30 for that, which will bring my grand total to $800. I've stuck to my budget for almost everyone (going under and over by a few dollars on a few people). Love it!

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