The holidays! They are coming!
Halloween: We have Halloween in just a few weeks. Total spent so far: $40 on costumes for the kids. I hate that I bought their costumes this year. I always make them costumes. But based on time constraints, their choices, etc....I decided that the time to money ratio was too high to justify it. So I bought them costumes. Still have to buy candy.
Thanksgiving: While our Canadian friends celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, in the US we have about 6 weeks to go. This year my parents will be flying up to see us, and potentially a neighbor family will be joining us. I always cook BIG Thanksgiving, so it doesn't matter if we have just the 4 of us, or 24....I cook ALOT. But there are other costs associated with hosting a dinner like this, other than the food, like seating - we have 4 chairs. Minimum will be 6 of us. The kids can sit at their kid table if need be. If we have friends over...it may be BYOC. We have decided to start buying non-perishable food now and space it out over the next month to offset the larger cost of the dinner. I have several recipes I make yearly, so I already know what I need. For example.....I make an AWESOME Beer Brined Turkey, and when I make a big turkey (yeah for freezing leftovers!), it requires 16 cans of Guiness. It is an expensive recipe. But oh so yummy. So when the Beer goes on sale in the next cycle, we will stock up.
Winter Holiday: Depending on your religious affiliation....fill in the right answer. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice.....they all have stuff to do. I have already started my holiday shopping, and am trying to NOT touch the money I put aside already. My plan....I have a budget, and I am trying to see if I can fold as much as I can into our regular budget, and then I will have a nice chunk of change left to throw at my snowball. I have a budget already, and have started picking up little things. My downfall is usually thinking we need MORE. I am also toying with the idea of NOT sending many holiday cards. We maybe get 25% of the total we send back. Not a great ratio. And for the expense....I may skip it. Haven't decided yet.
So, now is the time to start thinking about all of these things. I will be writing more about specifics as we get closer to each holiday, but here were just a few random thoughts to get the ole wheels turning for ya. The holidays are coming. They are at the same time every year. Don't let them sneak up on you.....take the bull by the horns and be prepared.