Well, another year has flown by. 2017 seemed to go so quickly. People I have talked to say the same thing. I wonder how 2018 will go. Just as fast? Probably. I think the older you get, the faster the days go by. My thought is that you must be enjoying your life and the things you are doing for time to go by so quickly, otherwise wouldn’t it just drag by?
We celebrated Christmas with both sides of our family this year, had beautiful, delicious dinners at both homes, laughed, talked loud and had fun with our White Elephant gift exchange. I prefer to call it a Santa gift exchange but either way it was a fun time. It got a little rowdy at my brother’s house near the end of the gift exchange with some major stealing going on – that’s the whole fun of it! I really have to start learning to take lots of pictures that I can show you. I’m one of those people that always forgets to take pictures and then wish I had at the end of the evening. Plus, my phone is not the best for pics, but my New Year’s resolution is to include more personal pictures here in the pages of House of Six. I’ve got two that I can share with you but that’s all I took.
I got away with not cooking Christmas dinner this year. My sister-in-law did her dinner a week before Christmas and then we were at my brother’s house for Christmas day. I kind of miss doing dinner even though it can be a lot of work. I don’t know why, but I always feel it’s not quite Christmas if I don’t cook dinner. Food was fantastic at both houses though. Caldo verde, cod, shrimp, rice, potatoes and veggies at my sister-in-law’s, and two types of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and different types of veggie dishes at my brother’s home. My nephew, my brother’s son, is a chef and so is my nephew’s wife. They made dinner along with my sister-in-law. He made one turkey the usual way and another he had rolled in it’s own skin. Don’t ask me how he does it but he gently takes off the skin, debones the turkey, stuffs the middle and then rolls it covering it in its own skin. Then, he cooks it in a water bath and then into the oven it goes. I don’t know how he manages to do this but it is so tender and delicious. There is nothing like your own personal chef for Christmas dinner! Both my nephew and his wife are vegans so they also made a tofu turkey which looks like a small round ham and kind of tastes like stuffing. My daughter enjoyed this since she is vegetarian and had something other than vegetables to chow down on.
Saving money doesn’t come easy at Christmas time. I know I go over my limit in my mind of what I should spend. When the credit card bills come in, I’m always a little disappointed about how much I did actually spend, but doing the White Elephant gift exchange helps a great deal in this area. Only buying one gift per family saves quite a bundle. My spending then centers around my kids and my great niece and nephew. When the bills do come due, I pay them in whole. Try not to pay in installments because you’ll just be giving more money to the credit card company. I know for some, January can be a difficult time. Maybe cut back on going out for dinner or ordering in food, cut magazine subscriptions or subscriptions of any kind, stay home to watch a movie on TV or the Internet instead of going to the movies, cut back on your daily coffees and make them at home or bring coffee to work to make there. Keep your money in your pocket so that you can pay the whole amount on your credit card when it comes due. Keeping the credit card companies from getting more money from you is one of the best ways that you can build a savings.
January is a time to start anew. Make a commitment this year to save as much as possible. Cut out all those little items that add up over time.
Remember to think before buying, “Is this something that I need or something that I want?” Just that single thought can sometimes trigger the brain to keep your money in your pocket.
January is a time psychologically to start afresh. Make new habits. Discover new ways to do things. What is one financial change that you can make to save some money? What is some of the “small stuff” that you can cut out to put more money into your pocket?