MamaM: Now that your credit card bills are coming due, some of you may be realizing that Santa was a little too generous last Christmas. It's hard not to spend money on gifts for others, as that is how many of us have been accustomed to expressing our love and care for others.
MamaD: But even without holiday spending, it's hard to stick to a budget.
MamaM: Me first. Hubby and I go with the philosophy of putting aside a certain amount of savings every pay check and then pretty much just blowing the rest. It's not ideal. I wish I could stick to spending only a certain amount in certain categories, but something ALWAYS comes up that throws that off track: gifts for weddings or showers, extra grocery spending for a dinner or special event, vacations, car care, medical emergency or, hey, that really, really good sale at the mall you just can't pass up. So we have figured out what we typically spend for normal monthly expenses, left some extra for those unexpected expenses, then put the rest in savings. Only we do the savings first so we're sure that gets put away. Everything else goes on the credit card because we like to get the rewards points.