UGLY is the key word in how the November budget looks. I had to borrow funds from other catagories to make November's budget happen without destroying our house-savings goals, though it took a hit, too. We (mostly me) had all kinds of car work, extra groceries, and too much consignment shopping in November. I've spent most of this morning trying to rework December to get the finances under control.
First change is with the house-savings number. We were able to save 125% of our housing goal in November. Clearly, we need to raise our bottom number on that. If we have a bad month, like we did last month, and can still save 25% more than we planned, the plan is too weak. I upped that minimum 25%, and this month's goal is 10% more than the new minimum. I'll let you know in 4.5 weeks how that went!
Next change. I eliminated all dining out until the 21st of the month when my family arrives. We had already cut out the major dining trips, but all those little food court trips add up. Both monetarily and calorically. This change will slightly up the grocery budget, but, as always, a dining budget never saves the grocery budget.
The other "issue" to consider was gifts for the kids' teachers. In total, my kids have 10 teachers and teachers aides (plus librarians, secretaries, team and club sponsors, etc). Even spending just $10 a gift, that's a $100 on teachers' gifts. I've decided that the teachers are really just an extension of our family. So they are getting nothing for Christmas this year! Bwhahaha! Not exactly. This afternoon the kids are going to choose items from the Samaritan's Purse gift catalog to give in the name of their teachers. I'm excited to know what the kids choose!
Hopefully, your Christmas budget is well established and under control. If not, don't get discouraged. It's not too late. Ask yourself why you are spend that money on those items. Do you love the person? Will the person love the item? Are you trying to maintain an image? What will be lost if you don't buy that? What are your financial goals? How can they best be achieved? What is worth sacrificing your goals (and sometimes sacrifices are necessary, but lots of times, they aren't)?
I leave you with my family's favorite Christmastime song.
(A little silly is beyond valuable during the stress of the holidays!)
If one is good, two is better!! We all love this song, too.