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Holiday money pits

Just read an article on unexpected holiday expenses and must heartily concur with every point, having “been there, done that” on every one! If there is a mistake to be made, I’ve already refined the technique through many practice sessions.

  1. Utility costs – Your electric bill is going to be higher, for all those holiday lights. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s getting dark way much earlier and indoor lighting is going on earlier. If you do a lot of holiday baking, food prep for entertaining, up goes your water bill and the costs of having stove/oven on – for me, that’s the gas bill. If you have stay-over visitors, that, too, will increase all utilities, assuming that these people eat and shower during their visit.
  2. Transportation costs – if you are buying plane tickets, well, that’s a big damn expense. But fuel for the vehicles increases this time of year. All those damn trips to the mall, the grocery store. Extra time sitting in the driveway before you leave, warming the engine. And how far is it to go over the river and through the woods? Holiday visiting, parties and such is extra driving, too.
  3. Sales Tax – The article mentions this item but thankfully, for me, that doesn’t apply. I live in one of the very few states in the US that does not have a standard sales tax. For most, though, this adds to the joy of the season.
  4. Gift Wrap – Buy it early and buy it at the cheapest place. It’s all gonna get torn up and thrown away anyway! Many wait until the last minute and buy it in a grocery store, because they are there anyway and it’s convenient to get it there, instead of making one more damn  stop. It’s also more expensive. Years ago, the only one who got the fancy expensive paper and decorations on their gift was my mom, who truly noticed and appreciated.
  5. Child Care – Another that doesn’t affect my holiday budgeting anymore, but certainly applies to many. All the functions, family gatherings, office parties and such that take you away from the kiddies require that someone else watches them. Often, that’s not free.
  6. Self Gifting– Last but not least, here anyway, is Self Gifting. Nice-sounding term for the destruction of my so-called Holiday Budget most years. Out in the stores, or lately, clicking around online, with intent to find the perfect item for him or her, and see those darling whatevers, in my size/color or a new electronic toy. Oh, I must have it, I’ll just add it onto the order I’m already making and it’ll hardly be noticed. I say this every year, many several times, and it adds up.

I think, this year, I’m gonna send them all Amazon Gift Cards, by email. I can be done with my holiday shopping in under 10 minutes, and spend the rest of my time in the warm house, reading that new book I’ve got on my Self Gifted Kindle Fire!!

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