Ah yes, the proverbial post-Christmas budget check-in. How did you do?
I didn’t do all that bad but honestly, I hadn’t saved much so it was over budget for me. All told I spent around $200 on gifts for my family; no friend gifts this year since money was so tight. And we couldn’t afford cards for everyone so we sent out really nice free e-cards from Punchbowl. I hand made some gifts (thanks Pinterest for inspiration!) and bargain shopped sale racks for others. TJ Maxx always comes through for me. Also, my family is pretty frugal but we all agreed to have a more frugal Christmas. This year both my sisters weren’t home here in DC because they both live outside of the US, so it was just my husband and I celebrating with my folks and visiting with his folks before they went to the beach through New Year’s. So with less people there were less gifts and we kept it simple, though with more trips to the post office and paying international postage. My family is known for cheap, practical gifts. Lots of books (I just discovered Thriftbooks, great for used books), some of which were picked up from my parent’s church rummage sale. My sister schemed to go all out though and deliver to my hubbie and I a new TV to replace the bohemoth we got for free from a friend two years ago. A new TV is a want, not a need, and so we hadn’t yet bought a new one despite our distaste in moving that heavy thing around and its lacking picture quality. So a big thank you to my sister and her husband for the wonderful gift!
The rest of the day was spent cooking and eating, as is tradition as well. Mmmm…squash soup and leg of lamb…thank you slow cooker.
But now I am trying to review our finances and see what progress we have made in 2012 and set some goals for 2013. I just finished reading Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace book and am halfway through Total Money Makeover. My husband and I really want to make more progress in getting our finances in order and getting out of debt in 2013, so we are starting the Total Money Makeover, thanks to a suggestion from my husband’s brother. Let’s get started!