Since Todd and I are still so new to this whole budgeting game, we decided that we didn’t want to make any heavy-handed goals about the holiday season. We knew that it was going to be tough for us, since we had our entire blended family together for the holidays (something that only happens every other year). Of course, it’s always more expensive to have everyone together for the holidays, when you have to factor in additional travel, gifts and food. We were apprehensive about making lofty goals and then failing to meet them.
I’ll admit, I was a little nervous going into the whole thing. Sure, we had money saved up specifically for the holidays this year, thanks to my small part-time job, and our change jar. Add to that money given to us by both of our parents for Christmas gifts for the family, and we were in pretty good shape — theoretically. Of course, we all know that theoretically doesn’t always work in the practical world. And let’s face it, in the past, neither one of us have been the most responsible when it comes to spending. And Christmas? Well, Christmas is a perfect excuse to over-spend. Lots of people do it.
Another way that I generated additional money for us over the holiday season was to save up our grocery loyalty points. I generally save up my points from Superstore and use them twice a year — once during our family vacation week in August, and again over Christmas. Since I’d only just used them all in August we didn’t have a ton of points; but we did have an extra $80.00 that I was able to add to the grocery budget. Of course this came in handy with both buying extra food for Christmas dinner, and with the extra family members around to feed.
All in all, with all of our savings and grocery-points using, I’m happy to report that Christmas 2014 was a rousing success in the financial department: for the first year in memory, we did not go into debt to pay for Christmas. Now, I know that for a many people that’s just par for the course, but for Todd and I, this is a definite milestone, and further proof to both of us that our new financial plan is, indeed working.
In addition to not going into debt, we stayed on track with our debt repayment plans, even adding money to our savings account.
That’s right, kids. Not only did we not go into debt, we continued to pay down our existing debt and save money on top of everything else. #humblebrag
And you know what this tells me? It tells me that if WE can do this, then truly, anyone can. I only wish we’d started sooner.
How about everyone else? Did you manage to stay on track financially over the holidays?
Until next time,