These days, I go to bed face-first. My head literally hits the pillow before the rest of me. I used to have a cat that did that, we called it the “flop,” and now I know that our cat must have been exhausted. Because that’s why I’ve been flopping into bed with a faceplant.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the big news for November is that Baby Stapler has arrived! We are in love and completely exhausted.
Baby’s debut did not take away from my Black Friday shopping. Mr. Stapler braved the new world of being home with two children all by himself while I got my shopping on.
I made out like a bandit at the national drugstores, starting with the CVS Pre-Black Friday sale, where I made $8 and took all of this out of the store:
On Thursday morning, I headed back out to CVS and to Walgreens, and scored all of this, including $30 of iTunes gift cards, for $40.47:
I wasn’t going to go to Rite Aid, but it was in the same plaza as Michael’s, so I stopped in and was surprised to see all of these freebies still available even though the sale started the day before. With free socks, bath puffs, earbuds, Christmas candy, and hair elastics, it was stocking stuffer heaven:
All together, I spent $32.47 on everything. To be fair, however, I did have out of pocket expenses — the Rite Aid loot was $32 out of pocket, but I have $32 in Rite Aid Rewards (called “+UPs”) to spend over the next month. The CVS haul cost me $28 out of pocket, and I have a lot of rewards to spend there too. Thankfully, I can spend the rewards on my prescriptions or other sale items that come up over the next month. Whatever I don’t spend, I usually hand over to Mr. Stapler in the week before Christmas and tell him to get me some stocking stuffers. I may be Santa for everyone else, but I refuse to stuff my own stocking 😉
On Black Friday itself, I had to be strategic about my shopping because Mr. Stapler had about a three-hour tolerance level for being home with a nursing newborn and a preschooler. To that end, I was surgical about getting in to the store and out without much dilly-dallying. That meant that I didn’t spend money that wasn’t on the shopping list.
Here’s what I bought on Black Friday:
- Staples: $0.05 after Rebate — Kaspersky anti-virus software and 4 reams of paper.
- Amusement Park: $63 — three tickets for next summer
- Michaels: $110 — LEGO storage cart for $32 (regularly $80), craft storage bins for $12 (regularly $37), craft supplies for $14 (30% off), ornament boxes for my nieces and nephews for $2.50 each (regularly $6.99), and felt cut-out ornaments for $5.60 (regularly $7.99).
- Target: $274 — $200 gift card for $180 (for us to use on future Target trips), $25 gift cards for $22.50 (teacher gifts), The LEGO Movie blu ray for $9 (gift for my nephew), How to Train Your Dragon 2 blu ray for $10 (gift for Mr. Stapler).
- Lowe’s: $35 — Christmas tree. We couldn’t finagle the $20 tree with our screaming newborn in tow. We had to get in and get out of there!
Enough of the shopping talk. Let’s get to the numbers. My first month of maternity leave …
Net Worth Status:
Cash: – $2,297. Blerg. Even though I planned on seeing our cash go down, it’s still hard to watch.
Credit Cards: – $344. That’s kind of incredible, considering all the spending I did on Black Friday. I’ll attribute the drop to the fact that I got a $500 MasterCard two months ago at our local grocery store because it would get me a $12 discount on gas. I have been using the MasterCard for groceries, so those expenses weren’t on our credit card in November.
Loans: – $406. Nothing surprising here.
Investments: + $2,176. Pretty nice to see our money doing some work here!
Net Worth: +$630. It’s nice to have increased our net worth even during maternity leave. But, it’s our investments that did the heavy lifting this month — because our cash reserves are down $2,200.
- Survival: SUCCESS! We are still all happy and healthy, abeit sleep deprived.
- Finish Christmas gifts: SUCCESS! I finished the ornaments during my last weeks of maternity leave and love the result. On Black Friday, I picked up some really cute boxes to wrap them in. At $2.50 each, the boxes are a splurge. But considering that the ornaments themselves cost less than $1 each to make, I figured I could swing it. Now I just have to mail them on time for Christmas delivery.
- Black Friday Shopping: SUCCESS! My Black Friday exploits happened over three different days, getting out of the house around 7:30 am to snag freebies and deals. I got everything done that I wanted to and stayed within our budget, despite spending a bit of money. (does that make sense?) At one point, I even went in to Bed Bath and Beyond and didn’t buy anything! That’s a major accomplishment for a woman who used to go into that store on a monthly basis and covet all sorts of things. I still want a KitchenAid stand mixer, and replacements for our chipped cereal bowls, and a replacement for our cracked Brita pitcher. But I resisted.
- Lower our Auto Insurance: FAIL! This is not going to happen any time soon. I just don’t have the time.
- Survival: We will still be in survival mode throughout the holidays.
I honestly can’t think of any other goals — financial or not — for December. That’s how exhausted I am!
What are your goals? Inspire me!