So I sat down this morning to start making my Christmas Gift List and budget. I am determined to make it to January 1st with zero debt on credit cards. That means a Christmas budget, baby.
We have worked really, really hard for the past few years to get our credit card debt down to zero. Several times we came within a paycheck or two of knocking it out but never actually did it. Victory: for the past month, we have been completely balance-free. (Side note: I cannot tell you how amazing that feels.) Now it's time to take our sad little savings account and beef it up to maximum capacity. We are getting out of the Navy in a little over a year and we want to have a cushion to live on- at least the money to pay for 3 months of bills plus a buffer- because who knows when God will provide a job for us. It could be right away or it could be a few months. We also want to be able to consider buying a house and that means having a little nest egg. Literally- a nest egg. Ha. :)
Anyway, as I think about Christmas gifts for our immediate family, I am thinking this would be a great year to buy each of us a personalized Christmas stocking. The ones I have hung in past years have come from Ross and are not exactly the most beautiful stockings I've ever seen. The dilemma is whether to buy the ones with the Christmas scenes on them (not exactly my decorating style) or to buy the beautiful handmade ones from Etsy. The L.L.Bean-like ones cost about $15-20 and the Etsy ones are $25-32. That's a difference of at least $10 and multiplied by 4, that's a lot of money that could be saved. But I would want to replace the cheaper ones sometime for stockings that I really like later, so I would argue that the more expensive ones now will actually save money in the long run when I don't have to re-purchase them.... it's just a question of "Can I spend the extra $40 now?" Hence why I need to sit down and make the Christmas budget. Gotta see if I can get the pretty ones now. Or if the pretty stockings are a possibility for this year or if I will be waiting a few.
Here are a few pics of the stockings I'm loving: