Could You Spare Some Change?

As if this time of year isn't stressful enough on the finances, it's the extra expenses that really send us into the red. I mean, I literally start Christmas shopping for next year on December 26, and when I find great things on clearance through the year I stock up. This makes for an easier budget in November and December. And I try to make as much as I possibly can and get away with. This helps as well.

But we're talking things other than gifts. Like the after-Christmas sales. I cannot believe that stores do not open at 5 AM like on Black Friday. The sales are much better and it's truly cut-throat. My BIL said he almost got attacked by wild women by just daring to look into the Christmas aisles this week. I ventured out, as any die-hard shopper would. Plus I needed those fake trees. Yes, I said that right. I needed them. It'll save me tons of money in the future. And I got wrapping paper and big shiny balls for the tree and even a tree bag to store my fake tree in. But I did not get ornament hooks and may be forced to pay full price for them next year. Drat.

And then my sister has her birthday on Monday. She'll be 40 this year. I cannot let that slide. I have to throw her a big old-fashioned lets laugh at the old fart party. (And seriousy hope that she forgets about it in a few years when my turn comes around.) But she has some kind of nerve to have her birthday right after Christmas like that. That's one huge expense right there.

And with the kids off school it's a wonderful time to go through all their things. Clothing included. You know why I never go hog wild buying school clothes? Because here it is, in December, and they're outgrown too many of their jeans. Capris on boys are not cool, so they're telling me. So I had to go out and buy new jeans for the boy, and the girl. Thank goodness for thrift stores. Being a mom of 4, I learned long ago that sometimes I have to swallow my pride and just shop cheap. Oh, who am I kidding? I've always been a thrift shop junkie. But let me tell you what I got. The boy got 2 pair of American Eagle jeans, 1 pair of Levi's, 1 pair of Wranglers (because they were still sporting tags), and a pair of Old Navy jeans. I got myself two pair of Gap jeans for good measure. And because it was 50% off all clothing day my total bill was $12.44. Can you say Good Deal?! I didn't do so well for my daughter. I got her a pair of jeans from Express and a pair from Abercrombie for $12. But hey, it's still cheap. And it all still adds up to more money spent at the holiday.

And then there are the dogs. Who ever thought it would be a good idea to renew license at the first of the year? Why can't they go by a fiscal year or something? How about every Groundhog Day they should renew? Because let me tell you, $8 per dog adds up in a hurry when you've got 9 dogs that need a license. (One of them was chosen and has a lifetime license, therefore we don't have to purchase him a new one every year. We did, however, have to pay hefty for that, and pay again to have it tattooed onto his hip, and pay yet again to have it registered with both the state and the AKC.) Whoever thought it would be a grand idea to have a kennel? That person ought to have her head examined.

17 comments:

Melissa said...

Yikes, you got some great deals on the jeans. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that already needs to buy the girl more clothes since she's outgrown so many already.

I can't wait to see all of your trees next year. It's going to be a Christmas tree forest in your house.

Flea said...

Yes! They all outgrow jeans RIGHT before the Christmas break! And I think it would be a great idea for the utilities and mortgage companies to just suspend all December payments. That would make things all better. :)

suburbancorrespondent said...

I love thrift shopping. It's silly to pay full price (or even sale price) if you don't have to. Pride has nothing to do with it. It's basic math, plain and simple.

Driving With the Brakes On said...

I wish I had made it out to do more after-Christmas shopping - we got close to a foot of snow, temperatures in the teens, and two sick kids.

I so know what you mean about December! It seems everybody thinks it is the perfect month of the year for 'Special Assesments' and for finding errors in their bookkeeping (I had a plumber who did work on our house in CA THREE YEARS AGO contact me the week before Chrismtas to dispute a $500 payment - he said we didn't make it! It pays to be diligent with old receipts and cancelled checks - I immediately found proof and told him to shove his bookkeeping error. And then wished him a Merry Christmas.) Why not April when I actually have a little extra cash courtesy of the IRS?

Madame Queen said...

My dad's 70th birthday is today. You can't let a birthday THAT momentous slide without a great gift.

I went to Target today and managed to get out of there with only a few small purchases.

Deb in OPKS said...

Both our cars licenses come due in December. Ouch! My dad's birthday is the beginning of December, my nephews is 1/2 my daughter's is 1/11. I feel your pain. To top it off, this year we had the unexpected expense of a new computer. Needless to say, I skipped the after Christmas sales. I'll just have to wait till next year.

BTW, I did a post on the discipline meme you tagged me for today. Stop by and check it out.

Irene said...

Wow, your thrift store finds are incredible! I have never shopped in a thrift store, and can't imagine finding that kind of stuff. Maybe I need to rethink it!

Kellan said...

That is a great deal you got for all those jeans - WOW - I need to go get Little Billy some jeans and now I am definitely going to the resale stores I haven't been to in a while. Have a good Sunday. Kellan

KIDZMAMA said...

We have a couple of thrift stores around here with poor quality clothes. It would help so much with costs. However I am lucky enough to have two girls and two boys so we hand down almost everything! My baby girl always wears truck and baseball pj's to bed.

Zoe said...

i love shopping the after x mas sales. i stock up on all my wrappings, trim and misc. plus stores like bath and body always have their gist baskets way cheap!

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

I'm surprised you've been able to find any Christmas items in stores, what with me buying them all and everything. My husband is going to die when he sees the mountain of outdoor decorations I've amassed this week. Let's see, there's 18 boxes of lights, 4 penguin sculptures, 3 spiral trees, 2 stick trees, and 2 rope light trees. There's a Santa, too, but he probably won't notice him since he's exactly the same as one that died this year.

This is, by far, my favorite time of year to shop. You're right, the stores need to have extended hours now, not in November.

Karen said...

Thrift stores are my place to shine. The oldest two kids are the ones I have to keep buying for. For whatever odd reason, my son won't wear his sister's hand-me-downs. The boy gets the best clothing money can buy, however, since 2 brothers are in line behind him.

BB's Mom - I snagged two spiral trees and a reindeer for the yard, but upon getting home realized that the trees are 2' tall and my husband is cracking up. I think he's right. They're ridiculous.

Cecily R said...

Okay, this is my third try leaving a comment. The first two times were thwarted by Evie. She's getting really good at unplugging my laptop!!

I love thrift store shopping. It's the thrill of the hunt and a great way to make sure that my kids' pants aren't prepared for a flood.

We have to register our van in December. Dumb move buying a car in November. We are always late registering it because we are so tapped from Christmas!!

Lainey-Paney said...

Random place to find ornament hooks @ dirt cheap: grocery store. I just saw some @ a Tom Thumb near us.

:)

Sandy said...

Ok I so needed to get out and do some shopping and after reading your post I am wondering why I didn't do it!! My growing son, is wearing capris! I tried to tell him long shorts are cool......LOL! I must get out and get good deals, I must do it!!
Thanks for the inspiring me. :)
~Sandy

Shellie said...

Yeah, I need to go shopping, but I put it off and off. Good deals on the jeans, though!

Colleen said...

yikes! I need to find me some good thrift stores! Or maybe everyone around here keeps buying clothes in Gavin's size before I can get there. Heck, I even have trouble getting clothes in his size at Walmart and Target! :)