Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday Hangover, pt 1

Everybody have a good holiday?

I know, I know, too short and too expensive.

Perhaps the best thing that we did, starting a few years back, was the 'gifts fund'.

I had been at the time perusing the on-line bank accounts funds withdrawn and- debating between razor-blades, exotic poisons, or high-buildings- decided that we needed to do something about overspending during the holidays, without going back to putting everything on credit cards... it was getting outta control.

We made a list.

We checked it twice.


Immediate family got an amount penciled in for gifts spending. Extended family and some friends got another. A calculator and a few choice words later, and the amounts eventually got down to a somewhat manageable level. We took this final number, divided it by the number of paychecks, and we had an amount that we'd take out of every paycheck, in anticipation of future purchases. We weren't always successful with taking the intended amount out from every paycheck (still learning), but fairly close and we usually made up for it when the next one rolled around.

It wasn't all that much, but it added up.

What made it real interesting was, when the Gifts Fund started to add up (along with other accounts and funds), I started noticing more and more deals on my Man-Toys. Talk about torture! Fortunately, I was able to suppress the urge(s), (more or less), and continue to save up.

Now, last Christmas wasn't all that great due to a non-financial situation, so this year was the first where we were able to utilize the 'buying gifts from the Christmas Fund' plan. After thoughts... I'm going to need to increase the amount taken out per check, but only by a little bit. When it comes to planning gifts for female kin that are 'in a family way', I'm going to take a large step back (read: run like hell) and let someone else handle the actual purchasing.

Some friendly advice re: (any) guy shopping for a (pregnant) woman.

1: Be very, very, very, careful.

2: Wear protection.

3: Yes, 'protection'.

4: (if applicable) No, not that type, horndog - too late.

5, 6, 7, 8... 101, 102, 103... : Be prepared to apologize. Profusely.

1,346,233: You are wrong.

1,346,234: Hell hath no fury like a woman. (yes, that's a period) ((no, not that 'period'))

fin: Eventually, you'll figure out the benefits of staying out of sight and out of mind...

Hmmm, sounds kind of like a good start for Rules of Marriage, actually...


Bob G. said...

Ah, the rules of marriage...sounds a lot like the rules of COMBAT...ROFL!
(i.e. - incoming fire has the right-of-way)

Can't we just call them "guidelines" instead?

Has a more USER-FRIENDLY ring to it. (or was that a ricochet?)

Carry On.

Xtine said...

It's really nice to afford christmas upfront, and out of pocket.

The credit union I belong to? Lots of teachers are members. They have a program set up for you to do this automatically, and sometimes, they'll throw in a little bit for you as a bonus.

They also have a Summer Savings Plan set up, for the teachers. You can choose to smooth out your monthly income, or take a smaller hit in the summer. Naturally, this is funded from your schoolyear checks, but I think that's pretty cool and very thoughtful of the credit union.

As for the pregnancy...Saw a very prominent belly yesterday throwing a fit in the grocery store over a lack of Swedish Fish. I waited a couple aisles to remind the fiance that's in his future...

Old NFO said...

One and only rule... Pregnancy= run like hell :-)