I am assuming that some people could call today "Frantic Friday". Even with the the stress of my husband losing his job two months ago and starting a new job last month, I am not stressed at all this year. I decided to do far less baking, buy less gifts, and plan less events. It has had a very calming effect on me. I also decided to not send Christmas cards. It is not that big of an expense, but it is one less expense. Deciding to do less baking has helped me to spend less this year. I will do a minimal amount of baking and cooking tomorrow, but most of what I am doing will use things that I already have on hand.
Although I have always lived a somewhat frugal life and consider myself a simple person, we got far too comfortable eating out, spending on extras, and being overall careless the last couple of years. My husband losing his job really shook me and woke me up. I have been extremely cautious with every single penny that we have received and that we are spending. I made a book that I call a "Budget Book" where I keep a literal journal about each of those pennies. Writing down not only what we spend but the reasoning behind it is VERY eye-opening.
I have also made a notebook for me to write down all of our grocery spending and to keep up with what I cook each day. It is also a journal. I am keeping it for several reasons. (1) I want keep track of our food spending (2) I want to keep track of the actual cost of food each day (3) I will be able to see the last time we had ___________ for supper.
I am a firm believer that if you do not have some sort of accountability with anything that you are trying to manage or control, you will not make good decisions. Writing things down really keeps me on track, rather it is my diet, our budget, or a shopping list. I believe with all my heart that when we have to look at reality in writing, it makes us more aware. I keep several (ok, many) kinds of journals for this very reason. I am "old school" and I write it all with my own hand and a pen. Typing does not necessarily have the same effect for me.
On this Christmas Eve Eve, I am thankful that it is not Frantic Friday for me. I am grateful that God has given me peace through all that we have been through the last few months.