Category Archives: Spending


We thoroughly enjoyed our family vacation, even though it depleted our short term savings. Then came the flurry of back-to-school expenses, and a plumbing emergency that cost us $2200.

I started this blog over a year ago with the goal of cutting our expenses, not only to pay for our vacation, but to help us enjoy a more secure lifestyle in the long run. With Christmas just around the corner, and the bill for the plumbing repair due in early December, it’s time to get serious about doing just that. Our spending makeover begins with NO-vember:

NO fast food or takeout This is a real weakness of mine. Based on my spending in these categories for the last month, this alone should save us almost $200.

NO retail purchases with the following planned exceptions:

1. a birthday gift for D

2. craft supplies to start making Christmas gifts

3. anything purchased with a gift card that we already have

While cutting these expenses will not cover the plumbing bill (I would have to spend nothing this month– not even on food or gas– in order to do that) Mr. Smith expects to put in lots of overtime between now and Christmas. However, if we want to be able to meet our responsibilities without relying on (unpredictable) overtime, we’ve got to build our reserves back up. NO-vember is just the start.

Are you cutting expenses in anticipation of the holiday season? Share what you’re doing in the comments.