Christmas has come and gone and with it a modicum of indiscretions. I'm not so much worried about them at this time, as the goal for the moment was to simply survive through the end of the year without any major money mistakes. Although there are three days left of 2007, I feel confident in saying this has been accomplished.
My main issue right now is that our expenses are at an all-time high, while savings are at an all-time low. I'm going to be working on our budget for 2008 over the next couple of days and I'm hoping that I'll find a few categories that can be squeezed to the minimum levels to give us more discretionary funds for savings and fun things.
One big issue that I'm having with our budget currently is unaccounted-for expenses. When an expense comes up that hasn't been previously accounted for, we either try to shortchange other categories in an attempt to pull the money out of our already tight budget, or just pay the expense and hope for the best. Both practices end up knocking our budget on its ass, leaving us grasping at straws for the last few days of the month.
Two practices that I've been introduced to by reading other personal finance blogs have been budgeting every income dollar, and the emergency fund. These are those really smart ideas that you know you should be doing but aren't. I know both of these ideas are touchstones for PF guru, Dave Ramsey, who I haven't listened to yet. I guess I'll have to track down his broadcast and take a listen.
*PS - thanks to JW for leaving me a comment -- my 1st! I somehow didn't have email notification on, and with the holidays I didn't see it til today, so I wanted to let you know I wasn't ignoring you! Have a great New Year!