My inner nerd has come out today. After coming back from shopping, I sat down and entered everything in to my Christmas excel spreadsheet. There I track what gifts I've gotten, how much I've spent, and how much I've saved.
This year, being now a more seasoned budget conscious person, I have found a flaw in my Christmas spending tracking! Every year on Black Friday and surrounding sales, I buy things for the house. Last year, for example, I bought very nice quality towels for less than half price. No one wants to get towels for Christmas, of course. But normally I buy cheap towels, it shows in their life span. There was just never a sale for good towels like last year. Every year seems to have something different for the household that is just a fantastic deal during these shopping days around Thanksgiving.
I also buy stuff for my business right now, while things are on these great sales. I have a new external hard drive, a handful of usb drives, and a few other things. And this is the best time I've found all year to get deals on these things.
Well, the last couple years of really tracking my Christmas spending, I haven't really included household and business purchased made. Of course these things shouldn't come out of the Christmas budget!! But I should definitely be budgeting extra money in these areas to spend in this shopping time!
Well now, my Christmas excel sheet has added categories so that I can properly budget for next year! Because I'll tell you, going out and spending large amounts of cash is absolutely fantastic when you know that cash has been set aside just to be spent for gifts to give!!! I think of Christmases of years past with credit cards, the following dose of regret, and I declare, NO MORE!!! Our pre-Dave Ramsey, pre-budgeting days were still good Christmases of course. But the buying was more stressful. And the paying of the bills afterwards was more stressful. I'm glad those days are behind us!!
After some diligent sales searching for the past week or so; after scouring the internet and making lists; and after budgeting, saving, and spending, I am happy to report that probably about 80-90% of my Christmas shopping is done!!!
Tonight I am thankful for a Christmas season on track to be enjoyable and low stress!! I want to enjoy this time, not worry about it. There's been a fair amount of preparation to keep stress low and to keep this time wonderful. This time was meant to be magical; and that can't happen if we are running around, worrying and stressing. I hope you all get to have an enjoyable season ahead, filled with peaceful, little moments and happy, precious smiles!