Witch's mom- that's a great idea for saving for christmas! I never plan ahead for things like that. I think I'll set aside a gift money jar this year, and try doing the same thing with those odd bits of cash here and there!
About using cash for groceries and daily stuff-- I have gotten away from it the past few months, but this month I started using cash again, and it's much easier to stay within my budget for the trip. The last grocery trip was only $4 more than I estimated it would be, and the one this morning was $6 over my pre-shopping estimate (I always carry $20 more cash than I expect to need, since I always slightly underestimate the final tally). When I use debit, I don't even bother estimating what things will add up to ahead of time, and then I somehow spend $50+ more than I had intended to! Plastic just makes it way too easy for me to overspend!
Aaaand now I'm going to whine a bit...
Received an unexpected bill for $537 for DS's birth, never mind the thousands we have already paid for it out of pocket (bill calls it an "insurance adjustment" whatever that means).
I work PRN (one shift a week usually, but often get cancelled), and up till now I've made just enough to cover my part of the bills (mortgage and everything else takes up all of DH's paycheck before we even think about necessities like groceries).
I love being a mostly SAHM, but I just don't know if it's possible to continue this way, not until we sell our first house. As little as I'm working now, we easily qualify for WIC, but I'm not sure if I'll apply, since it still wouldn't make much of a dent in the amount DH keeps slowly adding back onto his cc each month. If I went back to work PT, we would actually be able to pay off our debts, rather than just barely breaking even. If we paid off our car loan and our first house (still owe about 30K, and haven't been able to sell it), our expenses would drop by ~$600 a month--- THEN me being a SAHM would be much more feasible. I want to have more kids, and I want to homeschool DD, but before either of those things get underway, I think another serious butt-kicking of debt is in order, like the one we did in 2008 when I was first out of school and working FT.
I think I'll give it a few more months trying to make ends meet with my current job (don't want to be gone for long stretches while DS is still so little), but if we're continuing to have to eat into our savings after DS's first b-day, I'll start seriously looking for a different position with guaranteed hours.