Finances. What an interesting word. It makes everyone react - like it or not. With a bad choice or an emergency, it seems even though you feel you are prepared, things can change in just a day or two. With this in mind, a savings of some type is a necessity and not a luxury.
We have cut back in many places, and we have been diligent and haven't spent money on anything but necessities. With the holiday coming, we decided to start shopping a little early, and since we've been very good, we thought we'd go a little extravagant and buy a Nintendo Wii as an early present for the family. (this has been something we've been considering for a long time). I swear as soon as we pulled it out, things started going downhill in the finance dept. Talk about buyer's remorse! It was such an unusual purchase for us, that even the credit card called to make sure that we really purchased it. LOL
We will probably have to dip into our savings this time. It's amazing how even a carefully planned purchase when you know you can afford it can turn into a mistake. I know a Wii isn't that expensive, but the $500 we laid out for it would have helped greatly in the situation we now are facing. In one week, we've ended up with a few surprises that were unanticipated and costly.
No, I'm not complaining, but mentioning it so that it might be a lesson to someone else. This time of the year causes impulse buying and everyone I know spends more than they intended to, because it's Christmas time. I know I had always been taught it's better to give than receive, but I honestly believe that giving is meant to be of oneself more than material things. Holiday anticipations for me were more focused on my family getting together more than the presents. I was always so excited to see my cousins that lived out of state. We'd have a fantastic time playing and running around. Sure, the presents were great, but when I think back to my best memories of the holidays, it focuses around all the wonderful times we had together. There aren't many presents that I remember, no matter how much they cost - they just don't stand out in my mind. My family and friends, on the other hand, did.
Excess - Be Gone!
I've been going through books and things that we no longer need since the kids have gotten older. I remember saving things for the someday - and now that someday has past, and the kids don't have an interest or have outgrown those things. Many of the books were posted on PaperbackSwap and to my surprise, quite a few were on other's wish lists, so I sent a lot out these past couple of weeks. Yay! They are gone and now my credits sit and wait to be used for new goodies. I have requested a couple of nice additions to my cooking library - one a Mr. Food cookbook called "Pizza 1-2-3", and the other was a Taste Of Home book called "Mom's Best Recipes". I am also getting the last 2 books from the Left Behind series. It's been so long since I read the other books in the series, that I'll probably have to start all over again. That's ok - I love snuggling under the covers in the winter time and reading before bed.
I also sent books and magazines to Freecycle and the thrift shop. Everything that I posted on Freecycle went FAST. We also cleaned out the closet and donated all the outgrown coats. I'm working from room to room, and weeding the unnecessaries out. I'm finding that too much"stuff" makes me unappreciative and downright grumpy. I get irritated with clutter. The older I get, the more I don't like it.
On the Needles
I'm currently knitting a pair of socks for DS for hunting. They are nice and heavy wool socks that he loves. He claims they keep his feet so much warmer than anything we've purchased at the store. One sock is finished and I need to cast on the other. I must get moving on them, as it will be hunting season in just a little over a week.