They say that man plans, God laughs.
I should have kept that in mind when I made my Christmas budget.
This year, God not only laughed, S/he decided to give us WEATHER. I realize that folks who do not live in the pacific northwest already have WEATHER, but we residents of the rainforest just have wet or wetter. We do NOT usually have 14 inches of snow! The entire city shut down for the week before Christmas. I couldn't go to work, which was fine by me. But I couldn't get much else done, either.
Financially, there was weather-related good news and bad news. I saved a bundle on gas since I could not get my car out of the driveway. However, I spent way more than I wanted to on groceries since the only stores within walking distance were a local mini-mart and Whole Foods (what some accurately refer to as Whole Paycheck). We ate well for Christmas, but it was expensive.
Some of my adult children and their children couldn't get to my home at all. Others wore out their welcome as I played host for over a week--about five days longer than any of us wanted! More unanticipated expense.
Then there were the gifts that I had not yet purchased. Forget sales. The only thing that mattered was whether the store that sold what I wanted was reachable by bus. Then I paid whatever the price was. Naturally, that price was generally higher.
Interestingly, none of this bothered me too much because I still had some of my "garage fire" money. Funny thing about having funds that have not been earmarked--they not only give one a sense of comfort, but they are far too easy to spend. I did much better at sticking to my budget last year when I was worried about every penny.
Ah well--onward to 2009. My year-end wrap up and new goals are coming tomorrow.
In the meantime, I finally updated my links. Thanks for your help.