the methods and means of procrastination

new budget thoughts
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So Guru and I finally went out and got our christmas gifts. I worked very hard this year to control our spending, both on ourselves and others. I easily fall into the trap of spending too much at christmas. I miss people. I try to make it up with stuff. Not very effective. So to stop this habit, I made up a budget (read: arbitrary number minus what we already had spent on gifts this year) and then did strange math foo to get an amount for everyone on my list. I had so much fun getting these numbers, I started a year budget for this year.

I have always guessed what I need based on what I spent. Review past history and then apply it to the future. And I always feel like I have to watch every cent or the whole thing will come down around my head. With this new system, I sort of go at it from the top down. I set up these big topic, high-level labels for things (such as: GROSS PROFIT, FIXED SPENDING, FLEXIBLE SPENDING, SAVINGS, TITHE, DISCRESTIONARY, DEBT ACCRUED, REPAYMENT OF DEBT) and then I have percentages that split our take home into each of these groups. And the percentages all add up to 100% so I'm not over committing my money for more than one thing. So far it's been a breath of fresh air. It has put a cap on my spending. I don't have to track all the little purchases, either mine or guru's, its wonderful. The real tests will be a) tax time and b) if we manage to create a savings while at the same time paying down our debt significantly. My crazy math foo awaits. I realize it might not work completely, but I am cautiously optimistic.

The short story is we went shopping today. Surprisingly it was guru's idea. So I was of course game. We saw a lot of odd kitchen things (magnet salt and pepper shakers, a smores fondue pot that looked like a smore, etc.) but had no luck finding slippers for guru. We did find this huge Scrapbook store, that I know uwee would love.

We also saw a great piece of graffitti. Someone scrawled "guru" on a big fence out by the highway. I told guru that his followers were awaiting him. :)

Anyway, I purchased a few items from the internet for christmas, and guru has gone off to the book store again. Though I am glad to have my spending under control, it was really fun for the 5 minutes it took me to order that stuff on line.
Backing away.

Has anyone played this? Any thoughts?

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