Hello there! I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving and don’t have to do too much work this weekend.
I had a lovely Thanksgiving and am so grateful for friends, family and Pokémon Sun and Moon. I may have even seen a shaymin on the way home Thursday night. ;)
I am also really grateful that I didn’t have to use a separate Thanksgiving budget this year. That’s right; I was able to buy everything I needed for Thanksgiving this year using my regular food budget.
Let me give you some background. My daily life budget breaks down each week’s paycheck to tell me where that money will go. Each week I give myself $30 for groceries and food.
During past Thanksgivings I had a "special budget" for the holiday, but only in my mind. In reality, I just used my credit cards to pay for whatever food I wanted to prepare. "It’s a holiday and I should be able to spend whatever I want to in order to enjoy it."
However this year it was different! I used actual cash money! (well, cash on a debit card) And I was able to purchase all of my supplies while buying my regular groceries. Here are the three Pokémon abilities that helped me successfully not need a "Thanksgiving budget."
Forewarn: I knew what I was making early
Since I am known as the pie-maker amongst my friends, I usually bring two pies to Thanksgiving. This year, I attended two different Thanksgiving dinners and to bring two pies to each was out of the question. Luckily for me I know a pumpkin pie recipe, that I love, that just so happens to make two pies. Since I have made this recipe before, I had a good idea what was needed to make it back in October.
Knowing what ingredients I needed ahead of time helped me keep a keen eye out for sales and begin learning what price points made a deal a good deal. Starting early also helped me divide what could be a $20-$45 single trip into numerous, smaller, more affordable trips.
Light Metal: Buying ingredients on sale
In early November, the expensive ice cream was on sale for about 60% off. When I first noticed the price I wanted to gulpin out and just stockpile it to eat later that night. However, I realized that it would be better to just buy one and keep it for my pie. I thought to myself, “I am going to need it later anyhow, and why buy it at full price when I can pay less now. Plus, I can satisfy this want to buy it while also being responsible.”
The thought of being responsible was what made me realize, I may not have to create a Thanksgiving budget this year. After a stroll around the store to check other ingredients for sales, I bought the ice cream and put in the freezer.
The following weeks I continued to browse and by Thanksgiving-eve, I had everything I needed, except three eggs. I either already had the ingredients, like sugar and spices, or I bought them on sale, like pumpkin puree 2 for $4 (I bought 1 for $2) and pie crusts 2 for 1. I waited until late Wednesday night, when the store was restocking items, and bought my eggs. I even left $10 of my food budget for the rest of the weekend’s meals.
Inner Focus: Reminding myself that one pie is enough
I made the two pies and brought one to each party. They were hits, as expected. However, leading up to Thanksgiving, I still needed to assure myself constantly that one pie was going to be enough.
It seems unreasonable and unnecessary to feel like I needed to bring two pies to each party. But that "keeping up with the Joneses" feeling just stuck in my head and plagued my mind.
"I am the pie-maker, that’s what I am known for." I felt like that was what was expected of me. "Tojo always brings two pies, he loves making pies." It felt like I was a swimmer and only had one water type Pokémon out of three.
Of course no one noticed or cared about the lack of a second pie. It really was all in my head. Plus, one of the great things about being open and honest with my friends about my personal finances is that they get it. They understand I have different goals this year than I did a year ago.
Overall, I am still pretty impressed with myself that I managed this small feat, yet huge step. I am astonished that it developed so naturally in my daily life and was practically effortless. It just means that my personal finance training over these last three years is beginning to pay off.
How was your Thanksgiving? What are you grateful for? Did you see any shaymin?