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What's with all the snow? I can't believe how quickly winter snuck up on us. It seems just weeks ago we were walking around without a jacket on and now we're up to our midsections in snow and cold weather. Winter sure has brought some added expenses for our family. In part, I am talking about small things like salt for the sidewalk and a new pair of mittens. But the largest expense has been a set of four new tires for my car. I tried to put off purchasing them, but I got them last weekend after the first snow. And after the blizzard that came a few days later, boy am I glad I did. The $325 price tag far outweighs the cost of what might have happened if I didn't have a safe vehicle. My old tires were the originals from when I purchased the car 7 years ago, so it was definitely time for replacements. The snowstorm also caused me to take an unpaid day off of work because I am out of sick and vacation time for the year.

Winter also continues to add to our healthcare expenses. Owen had another trip to urgent care this weekend. On top of getting his cold and nasty cough back, he got pinkeye, too. I'm thankful more than ever that our insurance covers the cost of the office visits and we only had to pay the copay for his meds.

Of course, the other big winter expense is holiday shopping. We are still trying to be responsible and conscious of how much we've been spending, and so far we are well within our budget. However, we haven't really gotten a lot of our shopping done yet. It has been hard for us to get into the Christmas spirit this year, despite my optimism in the last blog post. We haven't put up our tree yet, wrapped any presents, sent cards, or done any baking yet. I guess the good news is whenever we do get into the spirit and do some of these things, we won't have to spend any more money. We have an artificial tree that's already paid for, leftover cards and wrapping paper from last year, and I'm pretty well stocked up on baking supplies. Until next time...


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