November Spending and December Goals

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November Spending

Hey, big spender! We spent a lot of money in November. It wasn’t necessarily expected or planned for, but we spent it anyway. I’m blaming it on the holidays. So, what do we have to show for it?

First, there was the spontaneous (sort-of) purchase of a DSLR Nikon camera. We dropped a cool $550 on the camera, case, memory card, and lens protector. We love to take pictures, and we have literally thousands from the last 6+ years of all our travels, special events, and everyday life, so this purchase was well worth it to us. We could have waited until Black Friday, but we wouldn’t have saved much. We wanted to have it in time for some pre-holiday events we had planned. We’ve been thinking of buying one for years, but never wanted to spend the money. Sometimes you just need to go for it.

Then, we decided to send more gifts to our family in Bulgaria. I thought we had wrapped that up when we brought the gifts with us in September, but understandably, M wanted to send a few more surprises. For this, we used our Kohl’s charge to take advantage of 30% off the sale prices, plus we received Kohl’s cash. We spent around $120 on various things for our niece and my in-laws, as well as some gifts for others, too. USPS shipping overseas cost us $35, which wasn’t too bad.

And then there was Black Friday. No, we did not wrestle strangers for flat screens in Wal-Mart. We actually bought laminate “hardwood” floors for my mother. This was a joint Xmas/bday gift between us and my sister. We were going to wait until after the holidays, but when we saw the great sale price on the flooring, we decided to just go for it and install them now. Then we thought, if we’re going to put down these nice new floors, we might as well paint the living room, too. So we spent the weekend doing this mini-renovation for my Mom, and luckily she loves it. Total cost for us was about $200, not including the upcoming bill for the chiropractor 😉

A lot of money went out in November, but the great news is that a decent amount of money came in. My earnings have been on an upswing, which has been nice. It would be excellent if this continued into the New Year. We’ve increased the amount that we pay towards our car, and also put money into our savings account, which we had not done for some time. Even with M’s recent promotion, we will not be inflating our lifestyle, so don’t fret, my frugal friends!

December Goals, and Looking Ahead to 2015

As we get ready to close out 2014, the goal for the this last month is to keep spending down and bring our savings up. Yes, we spent a lot more than usual in November, but that’s done. The goal for December is to wrap things up and start the new year with a clean slate.

I don’t foresee any expenses this month that aren’t in our regular budget, since Christmas gifts are all bought and ready to be wrapped. Our car needs to be inspected in February, and we have a 6 month insurance payment coming up shortly after that. I’ve been setting aside the money for those car-related costs, so we won’t be hit with them all at once.

In 2015, we have big goals, and they require some serious savings. We’ve started thinking about home buying, and have even been looking around the area to see where we might like to be (and what we can realistically afford). Having that goal front and center keeps me motivated to stick to our budget and to ramp up our savings for a down payment.

In 2014, we really did accomplish a lot. It was tough getting on our feet in the states, but step by step, we’re doing it. I’m proud of us, and I know that we’ll just keep going in order to get where we want to be. This time last year, I wasn’t too sure. I wondered if we had made a mistake, and if we’d ever find our footing here. I’ll tell you, a positive outlook truly helps! If you feel down about your situation as this year comes to an end, make those goals for 2015, and take it step by step. You can and will get to where you want to be!

How was your November? Are you starting to think about your goals for the New Year?

About Lauren

Lauren May is a freelance writer and full-time mom living her best life on a budget.

23 thoughts on “November Spending and December Goals

  1. November was very positive for me – it was my 8th straight month of net wealth increase (+4.4% for the month) and managed a savings rate over 60% of my income again.

    Hopefully, I’ll be able to maintain that level of momentum into December.

    For 2015, we have just launched our 2015 saving challenge which means that I’ll be working together with hundreds of other participants working towards two goals of improving our net wealth and savings rate.

    It would be awesome to have you involved in the challenge Lauren, so head on over if you think it might be of interest to you!!

  2. We’re very much starting to think about the New Year and how we can modify our budget to hit our goals. We’ll definitely be setting more aside for taxes, retirement, and any other surprises that might pop up.

  3. I’m glad you’re adjusting well in the states. And I’m impressed at how you were able to do some thoughtful holiday spending while still adding to your car payment and savings. I’m sure your mom loved her new flooring and that was so nice of you to put that together for her 🙂

    1. We tend to only shop there for gifts, so as soon as the statement is up online, we pay that sucker off! Definitely don’t want any retail charge card interest payments.

  4. Wow!! I can’t believe you guys actually took on the floor project! Good for you! And I totally know what you mean when you wonder if you have made the right decision many times. Sometimes it takes a while for our decisions to make sense and it doesn’t always feel good while we are waiting. I feel like that with my business sometimes, but having a positive outlook is a HUGE bonus to get through those times.

  5. I absolutely love the gift you gave your mom! What’s better than a mini-renovation on the cheap? My parents have been thinking of getting laminate wood floors in the bedrooms, but have yet to pull the trigger. I’ll have to ask them where they stand on that. If anything, my mom’s birthday is in February, and I know she cares more about it than my dad does. Glad that you both have found your footing here and are looking forward to what 2015 brings! I know I had a few moments of doubt during our move, but we were only moving states, not countries!

    1. It really wasn’t too hard to do, so I’d say go for it! We got a good deal on the laminate from Lumber Liquidators- not sure if they’re nationwide, though.

  6. That was a great gift for your Mom.
    I too bought an expensive DSLR camera in November. I have wanted one for a very long time and I had some gift certificates so that helped a bit. Looking forward to seeing your pictures and hearing a bit more about what is in store for 2015.

    1. That’s great that you had some gift certs to put towards it. I was trying to save Amazon gift cards for the camera, but we ended up purchasing ours from Best Buy.

  7. That’s a nice camera! Be sure to posts some pics on your site! I haven’t bought anything for Christmas and don’t really need to which is nice for my budget! And yup, starting to think about my goals next year! Congrats on being done with shopping!

  8. Nothing too exciting for us in November, which is good.

    Definitely getting into 2015 goals for next year. Should be fun!

  9. What a nice gift you gave your mom! We spent on clothing in November as we wanted to send new items for my stepson. Children grow beyond fast!

    I have already mapped out our main 2015 goals so it’s great to know what we will be striving to achieve in the new year. We also accomplished a lot in 2014 and my settling into life as a US resident.

    Wishing you and your family renewed prosperity on all fronts in 2015!

    1. Thanks Kassandra! I wish the same to you and yours 🙂 I know how overwhelming it is to start over- just have to take it one step at a time and celebrate each achievement.

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