November seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye. I was proud of how well I did in trying to tighten our belt, especially with the Thanksgiving holiday/travel. I’ve been struggling with our food expenses (both eating out and regular grocery budgets have been out of control lately), so I made a concerted effort this month to try to get those categories down a bit and was pleased with the result. We could still do better (we’re not perfect), but this was a big decrease compared to the past few months, so overall I’m happy.
|Cell Phones (2 lines)||92|
|Rainy Day Savings||150|
Preschool: Preschool was a little more this month because we had to utilize the after-care program a bit more than usual. The preschool we chose ends their normal day at 3pm. Rarely are we able to pick them up at 3. Generally we aim for a 4pm pick-up time (which is what they’re used to since that’s when their old preschool had pick-up), but there have been a handful of times that we’ve both been tied up with work until 4:30 or 5:00pm. Our preschool charges by the hour (so we don’t get a discount if we pick up at 4:30 rather than 5), but we still prefer to have our children if we can, so we just pay the whole hour and get them as soon as we can.
Gift-Giving: Gift-giving was high this month because it includes several items. We bought gifts for our Utah relatives (Grandma, Dad, and Uncle) so we could take them up with us over Thanksgiving rather than mailing at Christmas. I also bought a gift for the girls (hidden in the closet until Christmas) and this figure includes the belt I bought for hubs for our anniversary at the beginning of November. For five-six gifts total (depending on whether you lump the girls’ gift as one or view it as two), I think we did pretty good.
Entertainment: This month we rented a couple Netflix movies, I bought a few iTunes songs, and hubs watched the girls one night so I could go to a movie with a friend. We saw the last movie in the Hunger Games series. I think this was the first time I’ve been to a movie since the last Hunger Games movie….it’s been awhile. : ) Fun month!
Gasoline: This is actually low for the month, and its because I didn’t include the gas costs for our travel to Utah. My dad paid our gasoline costs.
Household Goods: This is from a Sonicare toothbrush (I lost our old one, leaving it at my Dad’s house on a previous Utah trip. I’d been using a manual one and hoping to retrieve my Sonicare one at this trip but when I went and couldn’t find it anywhere I gave up and bought a new one). The extra cost is from a few Halloween decorations purchased on clearance after Halloween was over (to save for next year).
Savings: Savings were low this month in favor of trying to put more money toward debt. Our rainy day savings were $100 for Christmas spending (to be spent in December) and $50 for the girls’ 529 accounts. The $500 savings goal was for our cruise 2016 fund.
That’s it! We’re trying to have a frugal Christmas this year, too. It’s funny how every year we tend to think “next year….” This year we had hoped to do some really fun Christmas activities that just aren’t in the budget (the Polar Express was at the top of the list). Instead, we’re digging deep and really trying our hardest to get out of debt! It’s not going to be this month, but we’re working hard to try to pass the consumer debt-free mark in January. We’re so excited! It will feel like Christmas all over again!
How are you trying to save money with all the holiday spending?