Little Bites: Christmas Shopping, Credit Cards & Cleaning

So far, December has been a busy month, financially. We did our Christmas shopping for Baby Frugalista (and, as first-time parents, I can say with confidence that I think we went overboard). We know she’s going to get a bunch of stuff from others, and we should have taken into account that her 1st birthday is just 5 weeks after Christmas, but we just couldn’t help ourselves.

Then Mr. Not-So-Frugal and I got each other fairly expensive, combination Christmas/birthday gifts — yes, we already know about them. Buzzkill, but he wanted his first-ever non-work-issue laptop NOW and I had to order myself a new desk for my home office. I suppose we’re making up for last year, when we barely did gifts because I was pregnant and we were trying to save money. This year, we decided we had the means to spend a bit more than usual, and they are things that we actually needed. Plus, we both have birthdays that are just weeks away from Christmas, so we almost always do one bigger gift to cover both events.

Because the new purchases were put on a credit card, I decided to completely pay off the balance on our one interest-charging credit card in anticipation of doing it all over again when the January statement arrives. Our other two major credit cards have balances at 0% interest that will last until mid-2012, so we still have time to pay those off, too. It’s not an ideal situation, and as a personal finance blogger, I’m a bit embarrassed to even admit we have a credit card balance of a few thousand dollars. Much of it was from Baby Frugalista’s birth and our hospital stay, but I deferred payment while I was out on maternity leave and wanted to rebuild our savings before tackling those balances. That’s why we’re just getting to it now, and why I’d transferred those balances to cards with 0% interest offers.

In anticipation of the desk shipping from Amazon (hurry up!), I’ve been cleaning out my two 5-shelf bookcases. They won’t match the new desk, and I may put them up for sale and get a new, shorter and baby-safe bookshelf instead. I have numerous copies of dictionaries and thesauri, but I can’t bring myself to part with them… yet. Old papers have been shredded, and little knickknacks either thrown away or put in a box for storage. There is just too much paper in my office, and I’ve got the cleaning bug.

In between all of this, I’ve been decorating the house for Christmas. The tree is up, and today, I start decorating it while my little elf helps. I’ve always loved this time of year.