As I Cee It

Posts Tagged ‘holiday

Day 6: Office Party Fashion

Left: Extra Petite; Right: Karla Reed

This is the time of year when there are parties galore. If you’re like me, one of the pressing questions is, “What am I going to wear?” And honestly, it’s more of making sure I dress appropriately for the occasion than anything else. As the office party tends to occur fairly early in the month (I would guess to avoid all of the time off everyone is taking), I figured we’ll start there! There are tons of fashion bloggers out on the interwebs, of which I am clearly not one, who have done a great job of putting together fantastic ensembles. Above are two inspirations that I found and really like from Jean of ExtraPetite.com and the Instagram of Karla Reed.

I do, however, have two skirt suggestions below. If sequins are a bit too much for your workplace, you can try the Forever 21 midi skirt on the left. I saw it in the store this weekend and the champagne colored one looks great. If the red one that Karla is sporting is no longer available, Forever 21 has an option there, too. Bonus: They’re both under $30.

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Left: Contemporary Sheeny A-Line Skirt, $27.90; Right: Box Pleat A-Line Skirt, $27.90

Day 5: Gift Guide - Mom

We’ve got a budget, we might as well go ahead and get started using it. I’m going to share a few gift guides that are more related to the types of people that I have to purchase gifts for. Mom is up first!

I don’t know about your mother, but mine has pretty much everything. She’s at the point where she’s asking for a new dishwasher…again. We’ve already done that and as much as I am a huge proponent of giving people what they ask for, this is a little ridiculous. So for those of you who are like me and want to get a gift for the mom who has everything, here are a few ideas.

  1. Tickets to a show or concert – I have two words for you: Experience gifts. These gifts are where you should look for those hard-to-shop-for people in your life. My mother loves musicals and enjoys the occasional concert. So far, I’ve gotten her tickets to see Wicked, Grease and Chicago (the traveling shows). She’s loved each show. If you’re a big baller and you’re on the east coast, go ahead and plan a trip to New York to see a Broadway show. For a lower cost option, see what shows your local theaters have coming up for the rest of the season.
  2. Classes – Again, experiences. Wine tasting, pottery, crocheting – whatever she might be interested in. You could send her to a winery with a tasting and tour, the whole she-bang.
  3. Jewelry – My mother doesn’t believe a lady should leave the house without earrings. Unfortunately, she is constantly losing them. To avoid a meltdown on my part and heaps of guilt on hers, I avoid the expensive stuff. Instead, I head to places like The Limited (the Glimmer Flower Studs pictured above are currently on sale for $9.95) or Ann Taylor and get several pairs. She has more options and I’m not bothered when she inevitably uses them 3-6 months later.
  4. Photo Book – Artifact Uprising (from $17) – The selfies you snap with her and put on Instagram that she never sees, the pictures on Facebook of you and your siblings that she doesn’t know exist, the random shots you take of your kids that you forget to send… Parents tend to appreciate gifts like this, especially if you are not geographically close. Order by tomorrow and you’ll have your book in time for Christmas.

In case you’re wondering, I’m going with option #1 for Mommy (yes, I still call her Mommy) this year, along with #3 and a few other items.

 

Photos of tickets and wine from Pixabay.

Day 4: Holiday Budgeting
I think I can speak for most winter holiday celebrating Americans when I say that spending during this time can get seriously out of control. There are a lot of people going into debt this time of year, spending beyond their means to buy presents. A great way to avoid this is to plan ahead of time, start saving for shopping early. Unfortunately, here we are with 20 days left and I didn’t get this idea until this week. So, it’s almost like, “Cee, why did you even bother mentioning planning early?” To which I reply, I don’t know.

Moving on… What you can do now is pause and make sure you don’t go crazy. Open that spreadsheet and let’s get started. (Disclaimer: I am not a financial expert. I do not know anything about your coins. I am merely sharing tips that work for me and I am honest enough to share that they are rudimentary. But it’s quick, and that’s what I like. If they work for you, too, great! If not, there are several sites that could help, including Dave Ramsey’s EveryDollar Christmas Budget.)

First, figure out how much you can afford – TOTAL. This might seem like a daunting task, but it will be so helpful. I have a figure every year that I do not want to go over. I find it helpful to start here, and work my way back.

Now this might not seem ideal, but I then decide what my budget is for each person on my list. It sounds a little crass, probably. I don’t care. I’m not going to spend the same amount on co-workers that I’m going to spend on a parent. I have nephews at different ages, and I’m not going to spend on the youngest what I’m going to spend on the oldest. It’s just not necessary for what #3 needs at this point in his life.

I layout the spreadsheet with each person’s name and then a few blank lines to note a brief description of what I’ve bought them (Lego Friends set for my Goddaughter, for example) and add the price in the next column. I also do this for the gifts that I’m thinking of purchasing. It helps me see how these items will affect my budget for that individual and for spending as a whole.

You’ll need to add the formulas in there. Don’t be afraid – we’re talking simple functions here. You’ll need a SUM formula for each person and another for the total at the bottom (you can have it add all the previous totals). The last thing to add to your spreadsheet is a cell showing how much is left in your budget. Have the formula here set as your total number minus what has been spent so far.

If you don’t have Excel, you can download software from OpenOffice.

Picture from Pixabay.


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