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Browsing posts in: Budget

The Nuts and Bolts


So in addition to my debt, the other key factor on this journey is my monthly budget…

Utilities350Client Expenditures10
Life Ins50Dropbox10
Auto/Rent Ins150
Guitar150Total Business Costs260
Kids Allowance235
GymnasticsMonthly Variances
Busch Gardens65Car Expenses300
Netflix11Kids Activities100
Tae Kwon DoKids School175
Total Personal3076Total Variance635

*Where there is no amount on that line item means that I have bartered services for these services. I do work in exchange. I started this four years ago and have since tried to find bartered situations as often as possible, especially for kid activities as they tend to add up quickly.

My required debt payments look like this:

Student Loans221
Car Payment700
Line of Credit218
Retail Card72
Credit Card108
Total Debt Payment1211

*You’ll notice that not all my debt is listed here. Several of my debtors, for the moment do not require a minimum payments.

So to save you from doing the math, this is what I am currently looking at on a monthly basis:

Total Personal3811
Total Business Costs260
Total Debt Payment1319
Total Monthly Costs5390

Christmas spending strategy


Every year we have a crazy travel schedule and a lot of people to see and catch up with over the holidays. It’s always a lot of fun driving cross country, staying in random hotels with family and friends, being fed everything and anything (mostly sugar, cookies, and gas station food) and eventually wearing dirty socks because everything in our suitcases has already been worn twice. It doesn’t sound like fun but it’s slap happy and full of my favorite people! I can’t wait for the adventures this year.

We try to plan for extra Christmas spending every year and do a good job of that. My issue is that we do the majority of the gift buying on the fly and that leaves very little time to plan and that means we don’t save money on our any of our gift purchases. What typically happens is at the very last minute, (less than a week before christmas) we find ourselves with a list of names and a general idea of what we might want to get each person. We end up running to the store with a list of names or paying crazy shipping for things we buy online. Not fun or practical.

This year I am doing cheerleader kicks, cartwheels, and I’ve been high fiving myself left and right because WE are hosting Christmas at OUR house!!!! YESS! I’ve loved Christmas hosted by everyone else, but hosting has a lot of advantages. For one, we don’t have to travel. I’m hoping that staying home for Christmas will take some of the stress of travel away and leave us time to plan purchases better. Instead of worrying about getting us across the country with everything we need and gifts, we just have to worry about gifts. What a relief!

Also, not having to travel will save us a ton of money. Even driving expenses really add up. Because I’m hosting, I feel like I can ask guests to forgo big gifts and stick to stocking stuffers for this years christmas for the adults in the family. I can’t guarantee that my family will play along, but as the host, I can make that suggestion and cross my fingers. I’ve always felt like I had to play along with our parents wishes for the holidays, and we did so respectfully. This year I’m excited to try some alternative ways of sharing and spending the holiday together. Maybe they’ll even like doing a white elephant exchange? You never know! It’s not that I don’t want to spend money on giving gifts to my loved ones, I think it’s more that we should spend time enjoying each other rather than focusing on gifts. Just pondering this.

What’s your gift giving and spending strategy this year ?
Last leg of last years travel:

Last years tree:

Ice skating at whole foods: (I was showing off and ran into that guy 3 seconds after this was taken)