Iâ€™m in planning mode. Planning for our future *outside Florida* (I can hear angels singing now if I listen really hard). Weâ€™re mainly looking into one city (I would tell you, but I donâ€™t want to get anyoneâ€™s hopes up â€“ I have readers there, yo, and Iâ€™m not thrilled that weâ€™ll probably be letting down the people in Austin who have been so looking forward to our arrival), but weâ€™re keeping others on the radar in case we donâ€™t get to our desired destination. So Iâ€™m looking at rent houses online (we will rent for at least six months in the new city, and oh, thereâ€™s this one house that I really hope no one rents before we get there) and making budgets for after we sell the house and move. Yes, I have budgets, plural, because Iâ€™m looking at several scenarios â€“ would you expect less of your Excel freak? Iâ€™m looking up restaurants where I can eat gluten-free â€“ in the city and in surrounding states… um, Iâ€™ll go anywhere for GF food â€“ looking at stores where I can buy gluten-free food, and most definitely looking at Google Earth to see all the closest spots for hiking. I consider anything within fifteen hours close.
Yesterday or the day before, I was working on yet another budget scenario. I told Frank, â€œWeâ€™re going to need to budget in savings for Christmas presents.â€ Seriously, I have so many savings categories â€“ 401(k), just-in-case, my next car (I am *not* driving kids around in the Explorer, and where we hope to go, we will need a 4WD vehicle), our next house, and now Christmas. Because I donâ€™t want to put *any* amount of Christmas on credit cards for later repayment. No way. Iâ€™m done. And, when I told him that? He was totally cool with it. I love my hubby. Christmas is over three months away, and he is completely on board with budgeting it in. *sigh* Heâ€™s so close to perfect.
Last year, I bought most of our Christmas presents online. Amazon, Overstock, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target. Iâ€™d guess I went to the store for fewer than five presents. Period. Frankâ€™s Aquaman boxers come to mind. Haaaa. This year, I expect I will do the same. I prefer to stay out of the stores when everyone else is there. Thankfully, most of the stores I used last year are on my favorite online coupon site, couponchief.com. And last year we didnâ€™t go to Texas at Christmas. We went to Texas at Thanksgiving and went to Boise for Christmas. So online shopping was most necessary. This year, we hope to make it to both Idaho and Texas for Christmas-ish visits (and we *really* want to be in one of those two states by then â€“ oh, darn, I didnâ€™t want to tell you our favorite options!), but either wayâ€¦ the online shopping will make everything as easy as it was last year. And last year Frank was making up for his eleven-days-before-Christmas Wii purchase, so this year the Christmas purchases shouldnâ€™t be nearly as extravagant. As far as I know, heâ€™s happy with said Wii and has no next-gen console buying intentions. If he does, heâ€™d better have a secret stash of cash to pay for it. ;-) We’re on a budget.