We spent a ton of money in December and we also saved a ton of money in December in order to stretch to try and meet some of our 2012 savings goals.
December included two trips for me, one was solo and less expensive, but the other was with my husband and another couple and was pricey. The solo trip was unplanned so that means unaccounted travel expenses in December.
And of course, the holidays always fall in December. Despite the fact that we save and plan ahead for the holidays there are still always extra costs that pop up. A new outfit here, an extra dinner out, drinks with friends, etc.
Finally, we do much of our charitable giving at the end of the year. This year, we stretched and gave more than we normally do. I also paid off a charitable pledge to my university two years early, so that was an extra $420 in charitable giving dollars.
Put that all together and I feel like we've been keeping the economy going just with our family's spending. Add in the fact that we doubled down on our December savings to try and meet our 2012 goals and I feel like we have no money because we either saved it or spent it. So, it is time for another January spending fast.
If you've never heard of a spending fast, pick a time period (if 30 days is too long, do a 7 day, a 5 day [work week fast] or a weekend fast) and then simply don't spend money on anything unnecessary. So that means for January, you have got to avoid all the after holiday sales. No eating out, no ordering in, but of course you can still hit the grocery store.
What is your financial plan for January?