Posts Tagged ‘budget’

Cheap Gas!

Do you remember when you didn’t have to keep up with gas prices?  When the expense was more of an incidental than a budgeted line item?  I do.

When I bought my first car, gas was somewhere around 89 cents per gallon. Ten buckaroos bought a fill-up in those days.  That was ice cream money by today’s standards.

Fast forward to today.  I was down to 1/4 tank today and every station in town and neighboring cities was selling gas for $3.79.  I kept thinking about how I should have made a U-turn to fill up at the station near my house that advertised a gallon of regular gas for $3.59.  However, if I was going to get where I was headed, I couldn’t make an additional stop.  So I headed toward my destination with what I had left.

Good things come to those who wait?  Sort of…  When I approached home on the return trip, the station that was selling gas gasoline for $3.59 per gallon had only increased by 2 cents per gallon, not 20 cents like everyone else!  To make the deal even better, I saved 30 cents per gallon with my grocery store loyalty card, so today’s fill-up was a bargain basement $3.31 per gallon.

I am thankful for cheap gas today.  I have a 250-mile drive ahead of me tomorrow and the thought of making it with gas prices hovering around $4 per gallon makes me ill.

Father,

Thank You for giving me the patience to keep going this morning and the fuel efficiency to make it possible to make the trip without having to spend more than necessary.  I pray for the people who have to make tough decisions about their quality of life as an effect of increasing fuel prices.  Please give them a sense of peace in knowing that You will provide all of their needs.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

CC

Family Christmas Gifts

The cold blast that parts of the country are experiencing and the advancing months on the calendar have me thinking about the upcoming Christmas season.  Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year.  Obviously, the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, is the true reason for the season, and I feel beyond blessed that He was sent here to save us.  The gift of Jesus is immeasurable.  Along those lines, but obviously not of the same magnitude, the joy of showering my children with gifts is immeasurable to me.

While the joy that gifting my children brings is immeasurable, the amount of money that my husband and I spend to make their dreams of dolls, video games, other assorted electronics come true is very measurable.  In fact, the amount that we spend is set in stone.  Each child gets the same budgeted amount and must live within their means.  What a novel idea! 

In a household where everyone has what they need and most of what they want, I wonder how necessary it is to continue filling our empty spaces with material things just because there’s a budget for it.  My intent is not to be a scrooge, but to turn our focus from solely tangible items to memory-making gifts with some, or all, of our gift money.  Perhaps we can begin a new family tradition that would demonstrate an immeasurable love for one another and for others.

A few ideas that I’ve thought of so far are:

  • Adopting a family and sharing our blessings with them
  • Taking a family vacation for the holidays – the gift of time
  • Purchasing season tickets for amusement parks or sporting events
  • Buying several $5 or $10 gift cards and distributing them randomly to strangers based on the Spirit’s guidance

As I sit here typing this blog, a commercial for spending Christmas in Branson, Missouri is playing on the television.  Is that a sign?  LOL!

Our household is a democracy of sorts (parents can veto just about anything though), so any ideas must be presented at a family meeting where a vote would ultimately be held.  It’s a bit late to hold that process for this year as each kid has already mentally spent their gift budgets, so any decisions would not take effect until Christmas 2012.

Have you adopted a family gift tradition in your home?  If so, what is (or has been) on the gift list?  Any comments would be greatly appreciated!

CC