December is definitely my favourite month of the year; both me and my husband have birthdays during the month and we get to spend lots of time with both our families. I also love the run up to Christmas, and all of the lights that appear throughout the streets. It is always more expensive than any other month of the year, even though I have tried to be sensible and not get carried away during the month.

 

My Financial aims for December were:

– Have 18 NSpend Days (NSDs)

– Overpay our mortgage by something

– Put £500 into savings

 

I had decreased my target for NSDs during December, because it normally becomes quite a spendy month. Also, I haven’t managed to hit my monthly target for NSDs for a while, so thought it would be best to be realistic during the holidays. However, I have managed 20 NSDs during December, which I’m really pleased about! Although some of the days where I spent money meant I spent a lot, the NSDs do make a difference during the month.

 

As our household income continues to decrease whilst I’m on maternity leave, overpaying our mortgage by vast amounts has taken a back seat, purely due to lack of funds more than anything. So, the challenge to overpay our mortgage by something is purposefully vague, as I wanted to overpay something, so that it continues to chip away in the right direction, but didn’t want to put a number on it. So, I’ve managed to overpay a tiny £8.34 this month, which I suppose is better than nothing. In the upcoming months, this number will continue to be small, though I’m hoping for them to be more than this month.

 

Lastly, and I knew this would be somewhat of a challenge, was the savings aim. At the start of the month, there was a storm in the North East, labeled as Storm Desmond, and it completely ruined our garden fence and took some roof tiles off at the same time. This was a big unexpected expense that we had to pay for in December; we have quite a big garden and so a big fence that we’re responsible for, so that combined with the roof repairs totalled £1,350 🙁 ouch! We were planning on replacing the fence later on in 2016, so it’s just been pushed forward by a lot. That being said, savings have had to take a hit this month. I have only managed to save £208.88 which is far away from my target, disappointingly. I really need to up my game in the new year.

 

My Personal Aims For December were:

– lose 4lbs

– declutter one bin bag’s worth of stuff

– help out with Christmas dinner

 

Why, oh why, did I put a weight loss target for December?! I must have been mad. Needless to say, I haven’t lost any weight this month; to be honest, I think I’m lucky that it’s stayed the same over the Christmas period 😀 I think, in hindsight, the aim should have been to maintain current weight over the holidays. I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t resist mince pies, Christmas cake, stollen or Christmas pudding! I couldn’t eat lots of things last Christmas as I was pregnant, so I wasn’t going to miss out this year! 😉

 

I haven’t done particularly well with my decluttering this month either and now that Christmas has passed, our house feels more cluttered than ever! I think that once all the Christmas decorations are down, it’ll feel more tidy, but I am going to try and make much more headway with this in 2016.

 

Lastly, as we have two Christmas dinners (one at my parents and one at my husband’s parents) I feel like I should help out more whilst I’m there. I helped my mum with Christmas dinner at their house – peeling carrots, sorting out the sprouts and other small tasks – so that she isn’t just left to it. One day it’ll be my responsibility to cook Christmas dinner for everyone, so I need to start paying more attention to it all.

 

One final note, the top three posts on The Frugal Cottage in December were:

 

So, there you have it! December has been a great month for us, even though I haven’t met all of my aims. I’m all excited to start a new year with lots of plans and aims in mind.

 

How was your December? Have you hit your aims? I’d love to hear about it!

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