Preparing for the Holidays; Time Capsule Style

My Journey out of Debt

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Preparing for the Holidays; Time Capsule Style

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School supplies have been packed in the kids' backpacks, ready to go for the upcoming school year. My wife requested I pull down the orange and black storage bins from the shelf in our laundry room, as the first week in September is when she adorns our Preparing for the Holidays; Time Capsule Stylehome with decorations of orange, yellow, and red to remind us that autumn is on its way.

As we removed the contents of one such bin, I found a plastic freezer bag with several pieces of paper inside.  I smiled as remembered instantly what it was.

It was the holiday time capsule that I put together just after the conclusion of last year's holiday season.  

The pieces of paper contained information about last year's spending. The purpose being to help keep this year's holiday spending on budget, and remind me of expenditures that I had not planned for last year, but which would certainly repeat themselves this year.

The time capsule specifically contained the following information:

A list of gifts purchased their costs, and when they were purchased. - My goal is to have my wife and I sit down within the next two weeks and create a list of who we plan to purchase gifts for this year, how much we plan to spend, and potential gift ideas. 

A list of stocking stuffers, and their cost. - I forgot about these last year (and almost every year before that, too) and it ended up being a last-minute, unexpected expense.  Not this year!

Special meal expenses. - We've typically hosted a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner with friends and/or family the last few years.  We don't have any concrete plans yet, but we'd better plan on budgeting a similar amount of funds for this year.

Cost of New Year's Eve Celebration. - Whether it be at the home of friends, family, or at our house, we always do something for New Year's Eve. 

A Personal Reminder. -  When my holiday hangover post was published in February, one of the connections I've made here in the Care One Community shared the difficulty she'd had with last year's holiday season in the comments section.  We agreed to connect and support each other this year, reminding each other of how to successfully plan, save, and budget for the holidays.

If you know someone that had a difficult holiday season last year, connect with them now and help them have the great holiday season we all deserve.

The holiday time capsule has given me a wake-up call that I need to ensure that I'm saving and planning for the holidays NOW.  By doing so, I can avoid having my wallet experience the same hangover it did last year.

Related Links:

The Hangover

Holidays in September

My Holiday Wish List

 Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the My Journey out of Debt blog and is a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis very candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family. You can also follow along with Travis on his personal blog, Our Journey to Zero. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

Follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles

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  • You know, I never thought of this. I'm glad I get your tweets about your blog here, gave me some things to consider for in the coming months! :)

  • I'm glad the post gave you something to think about - and that you are getting my tweets!  

    <Begin Shameless Self-Promotion>

    To other readers, You too can get my tweets by following me on Twitter - just click on the @DebtChronicles link above.

    It's FREE!

    <End Shameless Self-Promotion>

  • I keep a notbook for this & look at it often in the Fall.  I make notes in it after Christmas to help me improve the folloowing year.  It's too hard to remember from one year to the next, so it really helps!  Good idea to have a buddy for this!

  • Hi Maggie, oh..keeping the info in a notebook to have multiple years worth of information is a great idea...I may have to expand my time capsule!

  • Wow... talking about Christmas already.  Congrats... you beat the stores even.  All joking aside, I like the first idea of beginning to purchase gifts now.  I hate the crowds, etc. so that's a great way to elevate my stress from crowded parking lots at Christmas.

  • I hear ya' Doctor Stock.....come Nov/Dec, all the crazies will be out driving around in the parking lots.  I'll pass on that....get done early, sit back and watch it snow (at least where I live).

  • It is hard to believe that Christmas is coming upon us so quickly.  It doesn't seem that long ago that we had the original discussion from last years Christmas.  I know I will be happy to have this Christmas go by me as I hope to be out of debt by the next one.  Thank you for the reminder.  I have a feeling I will be stuck working again this Christmas since I hadn't asked for the time off (we have to bid for our vacations in November for the following year).  So my bid went in before we had our discussion.  Oh well just more money to put against the debt bug!!

    By the way I do still read all of your blogs including "Our Journey To Zero," it goes directly to my email.  Still love your writing.  Thank you for helping me stay focused.

  • Thanks for the comment, Monica....I was planning on reaching out to you about this time capsule sometime this week, just hadn't gotten around to it yet.   It only seems like yesterday that we talked about this, doesn't it?  Hopefully you will at least have some time to enjoy the holidays with your family...

    Thanks for your readership on my personal blog too - very much appreciated.  Since you brought it up.....Dear all other awesome readers:  You can read MORE about my journey out of debt by clicking that link in my bio at the end of each post.  <end shameless plug>  :)

  • If only I had taken it out of the box immediately when we purchased the tree the first time to ensure it worked and that it was what we really wanted. Or even if we had done that in June before we decided to return it.

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