On Houses and Christmas

Tuesday 19 November 2013 by

So, I missed my blog deadline last week. I was in full swing melt down mode after making a momentous decision and couldn’t type for doing loops around the living room.

After 6 years of saving, scrimping and doing without, we have decided to buy a house. I feel ridiculous just typing that. The plan has often seemed so distant an idea, just typing it out loud engulfs me in a brief dream like haze. Or hysterical blindness, whichever you prefer.

Something that has helped it seem more real is the big chunks of money quickly disappearing from my bank account. As a dedicated penny counter, this has unsettled me to the core and even more disturbing is the fact I literally have no idea what some of it is for; vague meaningless terms that my scrupulous self is telling me someone made that up just to be able to suck some more money out of me. Hush scrupulous one, those sort of ideas will push me to the brink and I’ll never get out of this alive.

So I am officially broke. The most broken I have been since I embarked on this whole family life thing and someone other than myself was impacted by my spending habits. Which were a lot less calculated before.

This brings me on nicely to my second part of the post. Do you know what else is expensive, other than buying houses?

Christmas.

I tried cancelling it but someone told the 5 year old it’s happening and he hasn’t let it drop since. We’ve warned family – expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed, but that still leaves me with a little chubby cheeked face that is going to wake up Christmas morning expecting to see some evidence that a fat man has wedged his way down our chimney, other than a few nibbled carrots.

I’ve hit eBay pretty hard this week. I didn’t think I’d have much left to sell but the impending house move has pushed me to be a bit more ruthless with sorting through toys and clothes.

I’ve also joined a couple of Facebook selling sites. One is a general selling site and the other is a site specifically for selling all things baby and children related. This has been a fairly good move in terms of getting rid quickly and not having to mess around with guessing postage fees, but you do have to put up with the hassle of arranging a time for collection and 30% of customers never turning up.

I sold a pair of size 9 children’s wellies for £2 on Facebook. The lady never turned up to collect them. I sent her a message that day to remind her and nothing. A week later, I relisted them on Facebook and the same lady asked to come and collect them. I ignored her this time and put them on eBay then sold them for £4.70. So I win. (Side note: £4.70 for wellies on eBay plus £4.00 postage! Whoever these crazies are I thank thee sir).

My very kind mother gave me a Rotary watch and bracelet set to sell, which I did. A last second bidding flurry on eBay pushed it up to £11.50 and I sent it on its way. The recipient has since sent me 6 messages asking if it had been sent, for its exact location at any given moment, to let me know it had arrived, to let me know it fit her wrist, to let me know the battery didn’t work (as explained in listing) and to let me know she will message again on Monday once she has a new battery. I don’t know about you but Monday just cannot come soon enough. I’m being very supportive because I’ve got a 100% positive rating to think of and the eager  little eBayer has firmly got me by my proverbial eBay balls. But at least she doesn’t know where I live.

This has put a few pennies into the PayPal account which I will use to do my online shopping and put presents under the tree, so I’m feeling slightly less hysterical about the impending season of good will.

Last year quite a few of the presents for family and friends were handmade, but I was on maternity leave then and had a lot more time to scour Pinterest for pinspiration and sit down with my crafting box. This year I will need to be a bit smarter about what I make/give being both economical with money and time.

Watch out for either great ideas on how to give at Christmas whilst keeping the bank balance happy, or perhaps me just documenting the decline of my sanity.

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