First Friday Finances for December

Buckle. Up.

This month we spent allll the money. Christmas was partly to blame. House projects were partly to blame. But let’s be real, who was spending money on those things? Uhhhh, us. So we were 10000% to blame!

Our Personal Finances

So in December, we technically spent and saved more than our income, but due to surplus from previous months, we didn’t (and don’t ever) go into debt or put ourselves in a financial bind just for the sake of spending on things we want. We know that a lot of what we spend our money on in December is an occasional expense, and we enjoy being able to give to others.

Since we were more spendy than normal, we were only able to achieve a 25% savings rate for the month. Bummer. That ruined our streak! However, that still means that 10 of our past 12 months we have been able to reach our goal of saving over 40% of our income! We will certainly do a breakdown for the year, but for this month the only real savings we saw was in our mortgage principal, our HSA contributions and finishing out maxing out Philip’s 401K for the year.

Budget Items

Bless Philip’s heart, I’m going to blame the ultimate budget bust on him this month. Why is that? Well because I’m now typing this on the prettiest little laptop I ever did see. Now I’m one of the cool kids that can go into the Apple store and ask questions about RAM and gigs and stuff. (I cannot, these words have zero meaning to me.) He surprised me and splurged for this Christmas gift, and I could not love him more for it. I’ve been wanting to get one, thinking that it would help me work on the blog more easily, but couldn’t justify it. I didn’t even think it was on the table as a possibility, so when I opened it on Christmas, I just started crying. He’s the very best. (Meanwhile I got him slippers and some vinyl records, so I’m feeling like a real chump over here.)

But, because of that dang generosity of his, it basically doubled the holiday spending we were planning, so we were certainly over budget there.

We were also over budget in our house stuff category, and I’ll take responsibility for that. I decided mid-December that it would be a good time to start a kitchen refresh. (Newsflash: it wasn’t.) So with that came a few gallons of paint, hardware for cabinets, a treatment for countertops, and of course a few pots to put my plant babies in! These projects always add up to be more than I originally anticipate. But! The kitchen is coming together and I’m glad we spent the money.

Blog Income

So here’s the thing about the blog…you have to work on it to get it to make money! I had plans of gift guides and several year end things, but when it came down to it, I totally dropped the ball. You guys, I was busy/tired/unmotivated/in a rut/tired! For some reason (can’t think of why), I just couldn’t find the time to sit down and work on a post in December. So I suppose its the price I paid for sleep. Or rather, the price I paid, and I still didn’t sleep. Guys, I’m so tired.

Despite not having any new income from links to things, we got our second Amazon pay out deposited into our account. A whopping $18! Ha! I know it isn’t much, but it is validating to have just a smidge of compensation for the time put into this here blog. And I owe it all to you sweet readers that continue to click on our links when you buy things! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Looking Forward

January we are going to try to reeeeeeeally reign in our spending. Be super intentional about eating out and groceries, not buying all the clearance things in the world (this might be tough), we don’t have any need for clothes, and don’t intend on having any childcare expenses. In addition to that, we’ve already received our stimulus money, hooray!

Unfortunately we still have some hefty medical bills coming in from when the babies were born, and while the babies are so so cute, why do ours have to be so cute AND so expensive? Also, I have more crap that I wanted to buy for the kitchen. Because light fixtures, plants, cutting boards and rugs are absolute NEEEEEDS for me to get this finished. So with those expenses in mind, we will try our hardest to save as much as we can, but it might be a couple more months until everything regulates.

Wrap Up

December finances were kind of a bummer way to end the year, as it brought our annual saving average down. But, I think in the future as we continue to track our savings rate, we will just anticipate that going forward and not stress too much about a lower rate in December.

However, we sure had a lovely Christmas, and really don’t have any regrets as to money that we did or didn’t spend this month. Especially as we were able to give gifts to some of our favorite people this month, it just makes us so happy!

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