The world economy plunging into the toilet (due in part by stupidity and in part because everyone expected it to, so it obliged) has NOT affected my family much. Prices on some things at the grocery are higher, but many are lower as well. (Milk was under $3 today. That was a shocker. I can't remember that last time it was that low.) Gas prices are higher, but we don't go out much, so it hasn't been too burdensome.
However, DH's company has been told that some of their clients are canceling or post-poning projects. So, the company has decided to stock pile some of last quarter's profits, which are usually distributed among the employees, in case of a crunch over the next few months. A wise decision, I think, all things considered.
So, given this reminder that the economy could intrude on my paradise even if we are out of debt and in a good mortgage, we have decided to really clamp down on our spending. Not hard. We have trained ourselves to live on his regular paychecks and treat the quarterly bonuses as "found money," some for play, most for paying off debt, paying down the mortgage principle, etc.
The main effect right now is that we have decided to keep our holiday spending to a minimum. Some presents have already been bought in my efforts to get done BEFORE the last minute this year. Those will stay. Other than that we are making lists of things that can be made for our loved ones and each other. It has been an interesting night of brainstorming plans. We told the girls our plan ahead of time, so we don't come off looking like a couple of Grinches. They are on board and actually looking forward to making things for us, each other, and their extended family. This might be a lot of fun after all.
My main problem has been pride. I ma not letting it get in the way of the budget, but it is making me picky about what I will do. If I can make something that does NOT leave the recipient feeling jipped then everyone will be happy. If they only smile because they love me I will be disappointed. On the bright side, there is nothing wrong with doing my best and taking pride in a job well done, I suppose. Harmful pride would be the kind that spends $500 at the mall so that everyone will adore what I bought. Quality workmanship is a better kind of pride.
This Christmas is becoming more interesting by the moment. I think this might really be fun.