News Beat is the Heart Beat:
Usually I do my weekly wrap on Friday but yesterday was waaaaay too busy and I didn't slow down til I reached Saffron, a restaurant on Fanshawe College campus that doubles as a classroom for second year Tourism and Hospitality students. A friend of mine teaches in this program and she invited a group of friends to sample the cuisine. After some fancy figuring I thought I had $96 left in misc. spending til payday on Tuesday but then found a $50 error (NOT IN MY FAVOUR BOO HISS) so in reality I only had $46 left :(
Intending to stay on budget no matter what I thought I would skip the appetizer or dessert or wine but then, miracle of miracles, one of my friends had just got a new amazing corporate client (he's a computer technician) and he paid for dinner (alcohol excluded)!! And if that wasn't celebration enough another friend in a burst of generosity paid for all of the bottles of wine we drank throughout dinner so all I had to pay for was my glass of house red that I enjoyed sitting near the fire while waiting for the others to arrive! I also helped with the tip so spent a grand total of $15.37!!
And I realized for the umpteenth time that I have really great friends. Not just because a couple of the men gallantly paid for almost everything but because of everyone's generosity of spirit. One of my friends is fighting breast cancer and had her second last chemo treatment yesterday. The effects don't really hit her for about 48 hours so she had a fantastic night - she was in top form regaling us with her special brand of honest, self-deprecating humour. Most of the people at the table had supported her by walking, running or donating to her Run for the Cure effort.
Also at the table was another special lady who is working on finishing her Gr. 12 after raising a daughter as a single parent. She is working towards being a personal support worker and was finishing up a position wherein she had been helping a special needs couple learn how to care for their newborn. Another special friend is a local artist and supply teacher. She lives pretty close to the financial edge at the best of times and we love her so much for living by her artistic principles no matter the personal cost.
All in all it was a wonderful night and during the evening we planned our next event - a Mexican-themed potluck dinner in two weeks time.
My fretting about the cost of my dinner out made me realize that something is missing from my budget - an allowance for entertainment. I've managed to fund movies, wine and the occasional dinner out just fine over the last 3 months of zero budgeting but the Christmas season is a different kettle of fish altogether. I can't just avoid going to seasonal events in order not to spend any money so will need to increase my Christmas budget next year to include a reasonable amount for entertainment. My misc. budget is close to $300 a month which for ordinary months is more than adequate - I usually have something leftover. But I'm a little worried about this Christmas season - I had one dinner out already and have plans to eat out next Saturday night and have the potluck the following Saturday. More events will follow and I hate being "frugal" at this time of year.
Could this be termed an "entertainment emergency" so I can justify dipping into my emergency funds "in case"?
No, I didn't think so either...just a case of budget oversight. Well...December hasn't started yet so I may need to do some jigging of accounts - decrease my savings a little bit perhaps to provide a few $$ for some festive fun?? Maybe if I put my mind to it I can come up with some really economical ways of enjoying the season at a reduced cost...
I've spent a good portion of my Christmas budget already. I did end up saving a bit more than I had projected which will be helpful. But still not enough. I paid out $368 to cover my DD and my trip to Toronto the weekend of Dec. 18 and $308 for her classic iPod leaving me with a mere $174 to cover DD's stocking gifts, a gift for Michael, my godson and my neighbour. I think I have a problem!!
Some serious number-crunching is in order. Hoo boy!