Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Budget Christmas

We have always tried to keep our Christmas simple. I have no control over grandparents. But this year with the tightening of our belt we are forcing ourselves to have an even simpler Christmas.

How are we doing this?
  • two gifts per child. Santa gift included. One toy and one other (in this case it is a clothing item), with a strict already saved limit on each child's total amount. If what they wanted wasn't in the budget they just aren't getting it.
  • we rotate my siblings, this year we have my sister's family. I'm making their gifts.
  • E-Christmas cards. With my digital scrapbooking business I made a beautiful card. We then emailed it, put it on facebook, sent it as personal message on facebook, and even sent as a picture text to a few people. With the exception of a few people exactly 6 that don't do the internet we printed and mailed to them. Spent, including stamps, $7.16 on our cards total. Even with the best deals you might get in printing out there. Once we started adding the stamps the cost of our Christmas cards was just taking a ton out of our Christmas budget.
  • We decided to not do gifts outside our family this year. Normally I make some fun and cute baked good with cute packaging. Not this year. No cute packaging and no baked goods. A small part of this is that I had surgery and although I'm mostly healed I decided the stress of getting the few we were going to do was just too much. In the past we would put together about 50-70 plates ect. This year I was going to do a mash up all the left over packaging from previous years (and not buy anything this year). 
  • No new Christmas decorations. In the past we've bought a few new things every year. New string of lights, replacement for broken items,  new ornaments, new cute item I thought was so fun. But we decided that we were going to buy nothing this year. No moments of weakness. No frivolous purchases, No replacing broken items. Not this year.

Here are some ideas of homemade gifts:

Jar treats
pillowcase dresses
polar fleece knot blankets

Anyone of these can result in lots of options search them on pinterest.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Life will *always* be CRAZY

When Life happened before we started our financial revolution I saw it was life happens and I don't want to think about it. I would then hand whatever it is my credit card and not think about it.

So EVERY month there has been something or multiple somethings. Each time one of these things come up it has created two responses. First, getting upset at how this is delaying our ability to pay off the debt. Then second, as we change our budget around it shows us that we can take care of this, stay on track, and have managed to still pay off some debt.


  • Between August and October our family over $600 in dental work.
  • End of September I chopped off the tip of my finger and we found ourselves at the ER. Between all the bills it cost us over the next couple months over $300
  • In August and September everyone got sick at least once (some twice) and we had about $200 in medical bills (doctors and prescription).
  • November brought us two blown tires. That was another almost $400 to fix everything connected with it.
  • My doctors have been urging me for a year now to get my tonsils out. Since we've had sooo many medical expenses this year we decided that financial we'd get the best price for having them removed if we did it before the end of the year. We now added all the surgery expenses to all our crazy medical bills this year. 
But we have to remind ourselves that we are still staying afloat.

We are making progress. Since starting in June. We have paid off almost $8000 in debt. There is a small part of me that looks at all of our "life happens" expenses and think about how that is another $1500 we could have paid off. But I need to remind myself that no matter what "life happens" and will continue to happen, but as long was we are trying to do it right we'll survive.