Sunday, September 23, 2012

Christmas Panic Step 1 - Budgeting

Time for Christmas Planning Step 1 - Creating A Budget

At his old job, my husband received a bonus every year right before Thanksgiving - that was our Christmas budget. It wasn't huge, but it was just enough to pay the holiday expenses without us going into debt.

We won't be getting a bonus this year, and with everything that has happened, saving for Christmas just didn't happen.
We had some serious planning to do if we are going to enjoy the holiday rather than stress over paying for it.

First, a list of all the expenses -

1.  Gifts for the family - each of the 5 kids, me and my husband
2.  Stocking stuffers /Saint Nicholas Day (All the little stuff adds up!)
3.  Extended family(his family and my multiple family parties)
4.  Other misc. gifts (teachers, daughters' boyfriends, Secret Santa at work, etc)
5.  Cards and postage
6.  Gift wrap/ribbon
7.  Decor (this includes the tree as our old artificial tree was ruined in our move)
8.  Food  - special meals, potlucks, cookies
9.  Events - Polar Express train tickets, donations

Basically, everything we could think of.

Tsh, at Simple Mom, has a great Christmas Budget download available here:

Even though I wasn't extravagant with anything in our budget it added up to a shocking amount of money!
I went back and cut a bit here and there until the numbers in front of me seemed more manageable. It would mean we had to plan carefully and keep away from the temptation to impulse shop.
Then we made a savings plan so we could cover the expenses.

With that done, I headed to my "Inspiration Mecca" -aka Pinterest- and started pinning away!
(You can follow me on Pinterest here!

Next up- sorting the ideas, choosing which ones to tackle, and creating a calendar so these pinned ideas actually make it into reality!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Coming Soon! Crafting a Cozy Christmas!

As summer was winding down and autumn was fast approaching and everyone was loving on the return of Pumpkin Spice Latte's and pulling out boots and sweaters,

I started having panic attacks.
Full-on can't-breathe sleepless-nights panic
What would give me Panic Attacks with all the lovely fall-goodness surrounding me?


 ACK!! Christmas is 3 months away!!!! Holy CRAP!! 

With everything that has happened this past year, we are less than prepared to face the holiday!

So instead of indulging in autumn projects and Cornucopia centerpieces, (we don't host for Halloween or Thanksgiving so skipping fall decor isn't a tragedy) I am diving headfirst into Christmas Planning

Now I know, for many of you Extreme Organizers/Budgetters/Knitters/Sewers/Crafters out there, three months is NOT planning ahead, but for this mere mortal, I am hoping it will make the difference between doing what we can, and doing what we want.

With just 94 days to go I have to get crackin'!

Tomorrow, the #1 most important Holiday Panic planning tool - The Budget!