The holidays are coming up fast, and may even be here for some, so I’m going to keep this post short and sweet. Today we’re talking about keeping track of our budget. We haven’t gotten to the budget part of this series yet, but even if you don’t keep a household budget (or don’t know how), I’m going to give you an easy tip on how to keep track of your spending this season to help us prepare for next year.

Now this is in no way a recommendation on how to spend money or save money. Money is a deeply personal thing, and I would never presume to suggest how anyone spends or doesn’t spend. All I want to do is help you keep track, especially if you’ve never done it before. There are a few reasons for this, such as using this data later on when we learn to build budgets, but my main reason is because of mindset. There’s something powerful about keeping track of your spending. Although it may be difficult, and you may not even want to know until that credit card statement shows up in January, managing money is crucial when it comes to building a prepping and planning mindset.

here is your homework for the next two weeks:

Take all of your receipts for everything you spend on the holidays this month and shove them into an envelope. Any kind of envelope, even a used envelope that held a holiday card will do. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, just that it is large enough to hold all the receipts.

That’s this week’s homework, for now. Once the holidays are over and you’ve returned, exchanged, and received any rebates on your gifts, we will tape the receipts into your Family Holiday Notebook that we set up last week. And that will help us budget for next year.

A few weeks ago, I posted an article that listed some of the best websites that offered holiday coupons and kept track of store deals. So if you still have shopping to do (like me!), you may want to check out some of these sites.

The days are getting shorter, and we’re all so busy, but those with a prepping and planning mindset never forget the ultimate goal: to be emotionally and financially independent of the world around us so we can make the best choices for our families. I hope you all have a great week!

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