Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm dreaming of a lean Christmas

I knew weeks ago that Carl and I had to cut back on spending this Christmas. We had a fun, busy and expensive year. We bought a sailboat. We went to Maui. We had to fix our car. Now that the end of year is approaching, we're out of disposable income. And, thanks to the economy, our usual source of extra funds has dwindled to the point that it isn't even worth dipping in to. I'm not complaining -- I know we are all in the same boat. It just means we have to make concessions.

So, we set a strict budget for Christmas. $50 for each of our parents. $25 each for our two nieces. $50 for Carl's sister and her husband. $25 for my grandparents. $100 for everything else, like hostess gifts, small gifts for friends, etc. etc. Total budget this year: $400 (gifts for each other don't fall into this budget -- that's separate).

Two weeks ago, that sounded completely reasonable and doable. However, I am now looking at slashing the budget even more. Why? Because I totally misunderstand the pay rate on a very time-consuming project that I recently completed. I thought this check would cover my Christmas budget and the 10 personal training sessions I just signed up for (with some $$ left over). Wrong. Now I'm not sure yet where my Christmas money -- or the money to pay the trainer -- will come from (since I freelance, I never really know when my checks will arrive).

PS: On another note, I want to say thanks to Sarah Jio who blogs about health and fitness for She mentioned my blog on her blog, Vitamin G, last week and I can see that quite a few of her readers clicked over. Thanks to all of you for stopping by. Oh, and if you aren't familiar with Vitamin G -- it is an absolute must-read blog. Perfect for when you need a break from work or kids or whatever. Definitely check it out!

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