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A New Budget is Coming


I’ve had several commenters request a new budget…and I will address that after the holidays. We have stuck to the Fall Budget. As previously mentioned I will have to add in a line item for Princess senior year of high school.

For the last several months, I have paid the minimum on my debts, put $100 into my EF and then saved all extra income. I really thought I was going to be in a REALLY good place going into 2020, and I was excited to decide what to do with the “extra.” But having a client not pay has really hurt.

I’m planning to run new averages on all my utilities and reevaluate our grocery budget. Now that we’ve got several months of being down to 2 kids and me under our belt, I think some of the numbers will change.

Ready for the Holidays

The holidays are covered. I’m about done with my shopping and planning for experience gifts for Christmas. Now I’m focused on recovering from my none paying client and building my stable of clients for the new year.

The only thing left is to decide on the Christmas tree. If you will recall, last year, we decided to go with a real tree. We will not be doing that this year. But I am also not convinced that I want a fake tree, especially one that I will have to store afterwards. Ugh!

I saw this picture on Facebook and thought we might could do something similar with supplies we have in our Christmas decor box. (We have a ladder like this already, inherited from my family.)

Princess told me I was a “sinner” to even consider not having a traditional tree. History Buff loved the idea. I think my compromise is to purchase a smaller 4′-ish tree from Dollar General for $15. Then if I don’t want to store it afterwards, I won’t feel so bad for donating it afterwards.

I love Christmas and I want to decorate…I’m just not convinced I want the traditional tree this year. But I guess I will break down and do it, I do still have kids at home. And I suppose their opinion matters some (that’s sarcastic.)


  • Reply Alice |

    Hope, are you continuing to send invoices to the non-paying client? Please don’t count that money as a lost cause just yet. Continue to send invoices and requests for payment. You may get money yet. Maybe the client is in a bad way financially. You never know, but you have to keep asking.

    As a snarky return to daughter, you could ask for a ‘chapter and verse’ for that accusation of being a sinner for not having a traditional tree. LOL

  • Reply Megan |

    My first thought when seeing the ladder tree was “oh how cute” and my second was “my cat would happily murder that thing day one.” Haha

  • Reply SMS |

    Please continue to press for payment from the client. You may need legal recourse and you need documentation for that. And even if you don’t want to go that far, keep pressuring them. Don’t just accept it. Also, can you publicize their bad payment practices somewhere?

  • Reply Joe |

    Agree that you should continue to pursue payment from the delinquent client.

    With respect to the new budget, I guess that is OK but what would be tremendously more helpful would be any sort of follow up on previous budgets and how what you learned from those influenced future plans. And of course that is only really helpful with more detailed accounting of income and how it relates to those spending choices. I think that in all the time on this blog, this sort of persistent follow up has never been done.

    If you don’t have a crystal clear view of what is happening on that level, it’s hard for me to understand how you can successfully design and execute on longer term savings goals. And that is probably why in the past several weeks there has been whiplash between discussion of potentially giving up on the student debt to focus on retirement vs being debt free in a (unrealistically short) period of time by focusing exclusively on debt, vs the ongoing goal of home ownership.

  • Reply Katie |

    Have your attorney write a letter to the client. My husband is a consultant and occasionally has a client who drags their feet with payment. A letter on law firm letterhead usually does the trick.

  • Reply Ellen |

    Definitely continue to press for that money.
    Also, there are TONS of DIY videos on you tube for decorating on a budget for Christmas. The dollar store is a crafter’s best friend during holidays.

So, what do you think ?