I've finally gotten my backside in gear and started my Christmas preparations prompted by the thought of visitors we weren't expecting over the Xmas period. From just the 4 of us (myself, DH and 2 adult sons) there will now be at least an extra 2 and possibly 4 here for the holiday, with 2 of them staying over for a couple of nights. With our 2 puppies currently needing so much attention, I really can't be bothered making everything from scratch so today I've emptied my sealed savings tins and have done an online Iceland shop to be delivered later this week.
I've also done most of my gift shopping online, and I'm sending shop-bought cards this year, purchased for a few pence in sales throughout the year, instead of making them all myself which I did last year.
I was surprised that there was £130 in my tins since I don't seem to have put anything much in them for the past few months. That will certainly pay for all the food and the 2 hampers of Kentish produce I've ordered for my daughters and their spouses who now live in other parts of the country.
Apart from buying the pups, who were paid for from DH's redundancy money, we've had a lot of unexpected expenses over the past few weeks. £400 spent on repairs to the car, a waste of money as it's still causing issues that can't seem to be solved so we're probably getting rid of it now. £120 on tickets, hire of robes and photos for DS2's graduation ceremony at the end of January, and £200 on Friday for new bath and sink taps and other plumbing work resulting from a leak that dripped through the kitchen ceiling right around the light fitting. I had to dip into some of my special occasions and holiday savings that I was going to use for Xmas and so the remainder of my Xmas spending will now be funded by the money I usually use to overpay on the mortgage each month. It won't hurt to have a month or two where I only make the basic payment. I'm so thankful that I had savings to draw on and won't start the new year with a credit card bill I can't clear completely. As soon as it's all paid off I'll be cutting back again to replace those savings.
Speaking of the pups, they've settled in extremely well, house training is hit and miss at the moment, but they are peeing and pooing in the right place more frequently now. The cats are still staying very distant, and they are the ones keeping us awake at night now they're allowed to wander the upstairs while the pups are shut in the living room.
How are your preparations going? Are you all done or leaving everything until the last minute?