Oct 25, 2008

Easy breezy weekend and Christmas planning

It feels like it's been a long time since I had an entire weekend I could call my own -- but here it is! Jeff has a project for work that is keeping him chained to his desk busy in his office upstairs, so I have decided to spend the entire weekend sewing! Yippy Skippy! Although the economic "crisis" hasn't directly affected our day to day expenses at this point (having gas drop $2 per gallon has helped cover other increases), our retirement money has been hit and hit hard. So we have begun allocating more money into savings to make up for the hits we've been taking in the stock market, which, of course, means less cash for Christmas spending this year. This morning Jeff and I took a few minutes and discussed our holiday budget, and came to an agreement on what we can afford this year without having to use credit cards or dive into savings. I'm glad that we came to an agreement on dollar amounts and I'm glad we talked about this early enough that I can get going on Christmas present plans. (Ahhh... I remember the days when my kids were very young that I would have all my Christmas shopping done by October 1st!) It also helps me figure out where I have to pick up the slack with homemade gifts. I will say this. I think it's critical for partners to discuss budgets early and often. It's a terrible thing when an unexpected expense comes up and one spouse has to explain to the other why there isn't money in XYZ account that was supposed to be there. When we sit down and discuss and agree on our budget, there's a degree of trust there. He trusts me to spend only what we agree on, and I trust him to do the same. (This also alleviates that Christmas morning "Ohmygawd, he spent XXX dollars on ME but I only spent XXX dollars on him!" I know - it's the thought that counts... blah blah blah blah. But you don't want to come off LESS thoughtful than the other person!) I am finishing up my laundry this morning, and putting Christmas present ideas on paper so I can make a list of sewing gifts to make, and make a list of what I can buy online. I hope to start online purchases this week. Then I'm heading to my quilt room and hi ho hi ho, it's a-sewing I will go! Happy, happy birthday to my sister Gail and my friend Lynn!!!!

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