Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Friday

Well, I kept our family tradition and went shopping on Black Friday with two of my sisters. Yes, we are crazy. We left the house at 4:45am! We stood in long lines. It was pouring rain. But somehow, we find this fun. I guess because we do it together.

Anyway, we did get some good deals. I got a really good laptop computer for my daughters (to share) for $299, a printer/copier/scanner for $25, an ipod nano for $120, and lots more. I'm basically done my shopping now.

I had budgeted $1,400 for Christmas gifts. When we left in the morning I brought almost $1,000. (I was afraid to bring more after my "lost $1,000 cash incident" in Florida), and we had to stop back at the house because I ran out of money!

What does everyone usually spend on gifts? I budgeted $200 each for each of my 3 daughters, $30 each for my parents, sisters, and in laws, and $15 each for my nieces and nephews. My husband and I have opted not to exchange this year.

Anyway, we shopped from 5am to 5pm - and I am just about finished. And it does feel good knowing that I shopped with CASH!

Monday, November 2, 2009


My it has been busy around here!

I have been super busy with a Craft Show every weekend, and it is only getting busier in the weeks to come when I often have more than 1 show a week - yikes! The shows have been going terrific and I am now averaging over $1,000 per show - yippee!

Unfortunately, we have not seen a great impact with all this extra cash. This is definitely in part because the busier I have been, the less I have paid attention to our money, and unmanaged money has a way of disappearing . . . The other reason is my husband's job. Times are tough there and he hasn't seen a commission in months. So, this extra money in a way has just replaced the commissions we are used to my husband receiving.

We even had to dip into our Emergency Fund this month because my husband mistakenly paid our mortgage payment (online) to our old mortgage company, instead of the new company that we refinanced with. This was a huge hassle and I'm hoping won't affect our credit negatively given that our new mortgage company didn't receive the payment on time. So, in the meantime I took $2,500 from our EF to pay the mortgage while we waited to get the money back from the other company. The check finally came, so I'm hoping to take a look at our budget for November and then transfer the $2,500 back to the EF. Ugh!

Anyway, the reason that "I was almost normal" has to do with my oldest daughter's 13th birthday. She has been wanting a new cell phone and I started to think "well, it is a milestone birthday" and "she does study hard and get straight A's" and "all her friends have fancy cell phones", etc. I actually went as far as making the purchase of the phone with a 2 year contract to the tune of $70 a month!!! and as I was driving home I realized how crazy I was being. (Luckily I had checked and made sure that I had 30 days to return the phone with no charges or penalties.) So, I returned the phone without ever telling my daughter about it. And we ended up getting her plane tickets to fly to Florida to visit her grandparents over winter vacation. She was thrilled and we paid cash up front and won't be adding $70 a month to our bills for the next 10 plus years!

It really is hard to NOT do what everyone else is doing! Score 1 for Financial Peace! :)