Today is Noel and my wedding anniversary! Unfortunately we both forgot until half an hour ago but at least it's saved us a bit on presents! I thought I might make a bit of a romantic gesture and toyed with the idea of making him a compilation CD of the number one song of each year we have been together, from 1991 to 2007. I used Answers.com to find out the top selling song from each year and all was going swimmingly until I got to 2004 and I couldn't find a single song from the Top 50 sellers that he would like. If I were to give him a CD of Snoop Dogg or Eminem after all these years I'm sure he would think I had finally flipped my lid - or worse, think it was time to find a new wife! The top songs from 2005 and onwards were no more suitable for him either - Noel's definitely more Jimmy Barnes than Black Eyed Peas. So I gave up on that idea but at least the thought was there. Besides, after the last few days I'm pretty much all out of being nice anyway. Yes - as feared in my previous entry, Noel has gone on to develop the flu. Not just any old flu but the worse possible kind - MAN FLU. For the last three or four days the boys and I have all been tiptoeing meekly around the house so as not to wake the sleeping monster. Having been through it myself, I do feel sorry for him and he does look absolutely dreadful but unlike him I didn't make everyone else's life hell when I was sick. 'Just because you're ill, it doesn't give you the right to act like an a**hole!' I protested loudly at him yesterday, when once again I could do no right. 'Yes it does, because YOU gave your germs to me!' he reasoned back, even louder. I know, and I've been feeling terribly guilty about it too, running around and making him big pots of this thread for the biggest laugh you'll get all week! Hopefully we won't end up with a huge vet bill, it would be nice to have a decent break from those - although I have even seriously considered using my homeopathic remedy kit on Tui for this one. The only reason I haven't is because I'm not 100% what's wrong - if there's something deeper under the skin that needs dealing with. It's hard to see what's going on when her hair is so long and fluffy but imagine how much I could save on vet bills if I could treat these kind of things myself!
My month of $21 Challenges may be over but I have decided to set myself the ongoing challenge of not spending more than $100 per week - this is intended to cover everything we need except bills. A few years ago I would have laughed and said 'No way!' but as a Simple Saver I now consider it quite an extravagant sum. Surely I should be able to keep to this plan easily? Better still, if I CAN stick to it, I will save an extra $100 each week on my current household budget - that would give me over $2,000 extra in the bank by Christmas! What an incentive. Talking of Christmas, it's being held at our place this year and Noel and I are thinking of doing something different. As far as we're concerned, Christmas is all about our kids - spending time with them and making the day special that way; not being stuck in the kitchen all day cooking while they play in a different room with their new presents. Spending a fortune on extra food, drink and all that goes with it for the sake of one day? We're not prepared to do it any more! We've decided this year that for the first time ever, we're going to ask our kids what THEY want to do on Christmas Day. If they want to eat a picnic for Christmas lunch instead of the traditional turkey dinner - well that's what we'll do! Anyone else who wants to spend Christmas with us is just going to have to go along with it or go elsewhere, because we refuse to spend money for the sake of it. I'm even willing to throw caution to the wind this year and make as many gifts as I can instead of buying them. It's not because I'm lacking in Christmas spirit; it's just that being a Simpler Saver has enabled me to see through all the commercial hype and I refuse to go along with it any more - that's not what Christmas is about. The Vault hint Buy Nothing Christmas sums it up perfectly. If anyone else has gone against the Christmas grain before or has any ideas of how we could celebrate a little differently this year, I would love to hear them. I can't wait to see what suggestions the boys come up with!