Sorry, back to the point.
My budget? It. Is. Working?
Remember how I wrote about the gift guilt complex? Well, so far I’m handling it pretty well!
I went ahead and wrote out my list with the budgeted amount next to each name. And then I put it in my purse. It is always with me. So if I see something and it reminds me of a certain someone, I can do a quick check on my list and see if it’s in my budget. There are 41 items on my budget, by the way. That’s why the need for a portable list exists in my case.
I’ve completed 28 of the 41. And actually, I’ve gone over budget on several of them.
But I’ve also come under budget on many others. And this is the important part for me. Because I am rewiring the system this year and I’m not even stressing it.
Yes, I love the people on my Christmas list. I really would love to do good things for them and give them lots of great stuff I know they’d enjoy or they need or whatever. I really would because that’s the kind of thing that I enjoy doing.
But I’m getting better to accepting there are limits to generosity because at the end of the day, bills have to get paid. Like the $542 auto repair bill I got this morning. And the rent. And the groceries. And the prescriptions.
I used to think really specific budgets were crappy for me. Now I’m back to wondering if maybe I should re-think this. I’ve been putting time into my 2012 annual budget. Usually I end up tinkering with different months, raising this and lowering that. But this year, I’d like to make it as uniform and seamless as I possibly can. I want to set it up and just let it do its thing.
And believe it or not, part of that is making me consider envelopes. Again. I don’t know. The Christmas thing has worked out well for me but it’s not like I had the funds for each person set aside in envelopes. I just had them written on a sheet of paper. I updated it constantly to show how much I had left for a particular person or how much I blew it by.
I do track my spending on Excel but maybe this is something I need to think about– the visibility factor. The quick check-in. Maybe I need something old skool for my purse? Thoughts?
Oh regarding Tinsel, he’ll meet his demise on December 31st. I made this decision for a few reasons. One, my next influx of money isn’t until December 17 and I fear if I open him up earlier I’ll be too tempted to use him to make ends meet or to buy other people’s presents and then, poof, bye bye Tinsel. Two, I am going on my first actual big road trip with the kids December 26. Again, I’m afraid I’ll be too tempted to use him frivolously on the trip or to supplement trip expenditures. That’s not the purpose of Tinsel so I’m going to get all Cuban with it. I’ll empty him out on the 31st and treat myself with a gift for Three Kings Day. Plus that means I can start saving up all year again for my very own Treat Yo Self Day (thank you Niki a million times for that one)!
Are you done with your shopping yet? Have you started? Did you start and hit a snag? Did you think about starting and then thought some more? Did you start and are just trudging right through?