Love the updates!
We are in the process of buying our first house!!!! Crazy, we are buying in Germany so are dealing with the exchange rates, strange fees, etc. so I am completely stressed out about the whole thing. Not to mention my crazy separate savings accounts are not easily accessible (on purpose) so I am trying to make sure I have enough in my temporary account to cashflow all the fees that will be coming in.
Christmas: We have not lived with our "stuff" for almost a year now, so I plan on giving the kids a big group gift (play stands, already purchased) and calling it good. My family is in fits about this and calling me Scrooge, but I could care less--the kids will be thrilled to see their old toys right around Christmas time, and I think that will be more than enough.
Unfortunately, we have also accrued even more debt since moving A truly huge amount, mostly our new car but also two separate private loans. So we will have four large loans, including the house loan and we have been debt free for years--I am officially rejoining this thread!
Debt 1--290,000 House loan 3.8% interest
Debt 2--38,000 Car Loan 2.8% interest
Debt 3--10,000 Private Loan (will be paid by 9/2012) 0% interest
Debt 4--20,000 Private Loan (would like to pay by 9/2012) 3% interest
We are able to pre-pay our mortgage 5% per year and plan on doing so. This account is almost funded for payment in the beginning of 2013 (first year we can pre-pay) so I will hold that there for emergency or hopefully to just pre-pay.
My plan is to pay Debt 4 by sending in checks of $3000, as soon as I can save that amount and by paying $500 monthly to the debt. I will have to aggressively save and pay this to reach the goal of having both Debt 3&4 paid next September, but if we do we will have so much more wiggle room freed up. I think I will join the no-spend thread also, but really my options will be limited as I will have two small children and no car at home and am not much of an Internet shopper (we buy needed things 2-3 times a year, but I have no patience for shopping via the web so luckily that will probably not be my downfall)