Home > Getting ready for September

Getting ready for September

September 1st, 2005 at 03:03 am

Fall is my favorite time of the year. Great weather, great holidays, including my birthday, DS and DD's birthday, Halloween, Tgiving, all the preparation for Christmas, which gets me in the spirit. What's not to like? Other than the days getting shorter, not much for me!

I'm also happy to put July and August behind me. Between my car troubles and hot water heater breaking, my budget (which was already stretched) was turned upside down. Luckily we were able to pay everything without dipping into savings (due primarily to the fact that I didn't have to pay DS's huge preschool bill and, unfortunately, I didn't put anything toward the home equity line). But now I'm ready to get back on track.

My big goal for September is to be able to pay at least $1000 to the home equity line. I've gone 2 months without paying down the principle, and it's really weighing on me. I have $500 budgeted from our regular checking account, and I'm hoping for the $600+ rebates from our Citibank Drivers Edge card to be sent to us. I already filled out the paperwork, but I'm not sure how fast they'll process it. I'm not sure of the timing, but we're also supposed to get a property tax relief check (~$350, I think) in September or October. That's a drop in the bucket relative to what we pay, but I'll take it. So $1000 definitely seems doable.

I'm also one of those really early preparers for Christmas. My goal is to be 90% done by the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so I can totally enjoy the month of December, including getting together with friends, listening to the music, looking at the lights, etc. without the stress of Christmas cards, shopping, etc. I usually start the prep in October, so one of my goals for September is to look at my holiday spending and figure out painless ways to cut corners. Two areas I definitely plan to target are pictures/cards and gifts. We love to get the kids' pictures taken for the holiday (and since both of their birthdays are close, I only have to do it once per year). But even when I go to Sears or JC Penney and use their portrait studio coupons, I still end up spending ~$125, which is crazy. We always get sheets of wallet sizes to send out with the cards, which I've decided is an area I can cut, because when I get other kids' pictures, I usually keep them through the holiday, then throw them out with the cards. (Not close relatives or friends of course, but kids of cousins and second cousins, etc.). So one plan may be to get the larger pictures done for us, mil, etc. (and use my discounted JCPenney gift cards), and take a picture of the kids with the digital camera to copy and send out with the other cards. (Also, I can substantially cut down the card list. I personally prefer the cards to the Christmas letter that has become popular over the last few years, but I can cut the number of people on the list). As for gifts, I think the use of the gift cards, either as gifts themselves, or to purchase gifts for others, is a good way to go. I can't do much about the list itself, but I can be a bit more creative about the gifts themselves. Glad I have a month to think about it...

I'm off to bed...I get to bed way to late at night because I'm too busy surfing this site...

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