Thursday, December 1, 2011

My money has wings...

It's only December 1st and already I'm getting a little nervous. Today was payday and in a matter of minutes over $2300 of my money has flown the coop! I can still access it if I need to but I've put a goodly sum on my line of credit and into savings and it kills me to have to make any changes after the fact. 

You know that old feeling of "my Christmas has to be as good as other people's Christmases and if I have to go into debt to do it I bloody well will"? Yeah, remember that feeling? 'Cause so do I. I think I have more willpower than I used to and I know deep in my heart that I don't have anything to prove to anyone, yet I have to admit I'm worried that my Christmas won't be "good enough".

There are 24 more days to get through until the deed is done - that's a lot of time to get myself into trouble. 

I thought I had managed the iPad neediness I was feeling last Friday (Black Friday)  - I didn't order one. Now today I find out that the UK's iPlayer is coming to Canada as a free app for iPads bringing with it all of the wonderful BBC shows I LOVE! Boy they really like to stick in the knife and give it a bit of a twist don't they?

After buying groceries today, paying down my line of credit, padding my savings accounts and paying for the yurt I have $1378 left to get me through the month. That has to cover everything: tree, groceries and gas to the end of the month, the rest of my Christmas shopping list, entertainment, dining out, parties etc. It just doesn't seem like enough. (Other household costs like insurance, condo fee, cable, internet etc are covered by the rest of my budget and not included in the $1378).  

I do have one advantage. And that is that I'm aware of how much money I have left. In previous years I just spent spent spent totally unaware (well, kinda aware but keeping my head firmly stuck in the sand!) of how much I was over-spending and then January would roll around and so would the SHOCK! and then the REMORSE! AAAAAAACK!

Don't want to go there, I mean I SO don't want to go there! Need a PLAN!

I am flying by the seat of my pants here so would appreciate any tips you can offer. So what can I do to NOT sabotage my good efforts over the last year by going totally overboard this month??

  • make a list of gifts I still need to purchase & estimate costs
  • make a list of other needed purchases such as stamps
  • don't grocery shop again (except for milk, bread and salad) until Dec. 15th
  • do NOT buy wrapping paper, gift tags, bows - use up what I have on hand then get creative
  • cut down on baking goodies as I always over do it and then spend the next six months trying to diet and exercise it OFF!
  • plan my Christmas meals now and make a grocery list instead of buying anything and everything "just in case"
  • make use of the multitude of "free activities" around the city like ice skating in Victoria Park
Hopefully this will help - just making a plan has calmed me down a wee bit! Now off to cycle a bit closer to Brighton!


Sarah said...

Do you have a small picture of your place in PEI? Put it in your wallet, when ever you get the urge to spend take it out and use it to remind you of what really matters!!

slugmama said...

If I was able to NOT succumb on Cyber Monday to the siren song of the $500US Kitche-Aid Pro Series 600 Stand Mixer for $186US after rebates, etc., then YOU can stand firm against the iPad.

$1378 sounds like a LOT of Christmas money....well, in my book at least.

I'd make a master list of everything Christmas/Holidays you plan on spending $ on from now until Jan. 1. Then glean over it and find ways to pare down what you spend on each item or eliminate some items altogether.
Ask yourself, "Can I do/get this for free or less money?"....then do it!lol

Good luck!!

Antie Eboo said...

Have a small (and I mean small) stash of easy gifts for the folks you may want to give something to. Like some hand poured teacup candles, or tealights or soaps or bath salts. Mugs with a flavoured teabag and some Hershey candy cane kisses maybe. Then when you feel that obligitory urge to give something, it won't break your budget.
Jus' saying.
P.S. Thanks for the card. ;)

Lisa said...

I think the majority of us have a better grip on our Christmas spending. I am hoping I don't get caught up in the "good enough" Christmas" this year.

Out My window said...

Have a cookie exchange, this will save you time and money. You make one kind of cookie.

Anonymous said...

I'm menu planning the whole month this weekend because I know that's where the money will go (out the door) - on extra food and treats!

You CAN do this!! :)

Liquid Independence said...

Stay indoors more and you won't be tempted to spend as much. Sometimes I like to re-use wrapping paper from the previous year. Anyone can wrap Christmas presents, but not everyone has the gift :D

Johanna said...

I have already purchased all the presents but I will admit that I purchased $100 worth of shbby chic material on ebay which I shouldn't have but I do plan to make a rag quilt for my bed from it, just as soon as buy a sewing machine.
I know I'm rather backwards. Something I have noticed though is that all through the year I don't feel any urge to buy myself stuff but almost every year at this time, kinda between December and March I feel the need and almost always buy myself something. Last year it was the supper lens for my camera.
I wonder why that is.
You'll do fine I'm sure :)

Suzy said...

boy I'm absolutely no help - I'd tell you you absolutely should treat yourself to the ipad since you use your stuff and don't let it sit around collecting dust - you could compose blogposts while on your hikes - capturing the momennt then and there - probably even record sounds of the birdies chirping...and I'd probably say you could eat out of the pantry and pay for the ipad...but see that's why your numbers and posts always look so much better than mine :-( and you're not so whiny and apologetic every post or coming back after falling off the wagon thinking of a good excuse to explain why every other month you're having to confess to being a loser LOL!
see told you that me-who-bought-refurbished-nookcolor-and-nooktouch-and debating-kindle would be no help!

I think you'd have a great christmas in the middle of nowhere with nothing but Michael and Kazi - you know what's important in life and seem to take pleasure in every minute of it. your blog's always so positive - even the not so good stuff you're still positive - and you have so much fun it looks like going on hikes and hanging out eating wings!


Sharon said...

Since everything is wrapped and put away, I'm not thinking about "good enough". It will have to do.

Also, I'm staying out of stores. I already was in Target and started walking around "just looking", but if I just don't go into Target, I'll be fine! You can do it Jane! I have confidence in you!!!

lanniedee said...

Hi sis: I warned everyone that we were cutting back this year so they would be prepared..I let them know we have double taxes/hydro bills etc. and they understand..hence they will lower their expectations..everyone is getting older now and buy themselves what they want during the year..houses are getting full!!
We have to "remember" it's the thought that counts, not the price tag! I bought myself something I could have lived without but no guilt so budget is way lower than yours..keep sure helps to keep out of stores! love L.Dee

Barb said...

I have no help for you on the cookie issue. I bake alot and accept it for what it is. As far as the rest, do what you can reasonably afford in terms of gifting. It sounds like you have a good plan going.

jpkittie said...

stay strong!!! I know you will be able to do it! I have to agree with Sharon - stay out of the stores & don't look at anything!!! that is where the trouble starts! hehe...

The Witch said...

It seems to me you have all your stockings hung nicely in a row. It can be a trend to overspend during Christmas but I'm always thinking of the great savings available after Christmas. We don't receive our Christmas bonus till the end of Jan so there is always lots of bargains out there at this time.
You may be tempted to buy that iPad but who knows you may be getting one for Christmas.
Then there is always Granny New Years.
I think the savings amount you have put away is great.