Birthdays and Birthdays and Christmas OH MY!

In Bret and I's family the majority of the birthdays fall between October and January. Right in the middle there of course is Christmas. I am sure that we are not alone in that the holidays always hit hard financially. Besides the presents, trip back to KS, and Palmer's birthday this year we also have a baby coming right smack in the middle of it all.

So about a year ago anticipating all of these upcoming expenses Bret and I sat down (OK so let's be honest here...I sat down and just updated him as I went along) and came up with a budget. How much we were going to spend on each person's birthday, Palmer's party, Christmas presents, trip money, and of course medical expenses. Then I divided it up by pay period and whala...we have a savings account for just these expenses.

At first it was hard to let go of that extra income but it didn't take long before we hardly noticed the money was missing. The key for us was to have it out of sight out of mind (aka in a different account at a different bank) in our credit union account that we have through the hospital. Every now and then I check the balance and have just a little bit of a giddy feeling seeing that money is there.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that we booked a party at a local bounce house for Palmer's bday and so that is already paid for out of that account. It feels really good to know that we are going to have to eat mac'n cheese or rack up credit card debt this year. It also helps us to decide what to get the kids and each other for Christmas since we have a set budget.

Some of you may know that I am a BIG Black Friday shopper and am anxiously anticipating the first few ads to leak any day now. Bret has to work again on Friday and so far we don't have any family coming into town so it will probably be a quick trip at least to start with but I'm not worried. Realizing I'm going to be pretty pregnant this year a quick few stops may be all that I have in me after picking which line to stand in. In the words of my 5 year old I'M SOO EXCITED!


Darci said...

This is so smart! We already have a few Christmas gifts purchased and hope to have them all done by the end of November for budgeting reasons. I like the idea of taking a little out each month, though!

ScotchTapedPrincess said...

I have personally never been brave enough to get out in the crazy crowds of Black Friday, but I can SO see you getting into that! I like to do a lot of my shopping online, as going to the mall is about the last thing I want to do. That, and for the the last few years, I have done home-made gifts. I will likely try and do that kind of thing again, with homemade gifts, other than some seriously techie fun stuff for Dr. Love.

I'm actually getting excited for the holiday season, especially Christmas. Glad to see I'm not the only one, because Dr. Love thinks I'm nuts. :)