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Double Dipping...

February 12th, 2007 at 11:11 am

Our extended family has about a birthday a month. I started a birthday fund to go alongside the Christmas fund and used a little used checking account to keep it in. I put some in each month toward the bigger birthdays (mainly the kids in the family) and thought I was doing great. Yesterday, I bought a couple of things to squirrel away for Christmas and on the way home, I got to thinking about this. I asked Hubby--when do I put in the gift costs, when I incur them or the month I actually send them. He said to put in the month I BUY them. Okay. That sounds right. Then I realized I have too many gift columns. I have a Christmas fund, a birthday fund, and a gift fund. I had been using the gift fund for shipping and other costs. But I also had been putting the birthday gifts in there. And putting money in the birthday fund. Good grief! I have been counting the money twice! I figured out to deduct what I spend on gifts from each fund's allocation for the month and deposit what's left for the next big one. The gift fund will remain for things like valentine's day. I know not to send candy to the kids because I've had it not arrive for two months (actually happened once)or else melt in an outside package mailbox before they could pick it up. (My fault--didn't think about that!) So I need to try to find another type gift to celebrate with them. I also have been known to send "Just Because" gifts to my parents. After all, they have put with me for a lot of years! I think I could have a little fun with this little gift fund. Now that I know what this fund TRULY is.....

5 Responses to “Double Dipping...”

  1. Little L Says:

    I enter all expenses, gifts, property taxes (we save incrementally for this) in the month I actually spend the money or move the money from checking to savings even though the bill isn't due until months later.

    If I buy a gift today for someone whose bday is in May, the expense gets recorded in Feb, not May. I guess I do accrural based personal finance accounting and not cash basis accounting.

    Re Valentines gifts, you could send a gift cert for candy.

  2. JanH Says:

    Little L: Hey, a gift certificate or gift card! Good idea.

  3. boomeyers Says:

    Definatly! Gift cards can't melt. (Well, maybe??)

  4. Carolina Bound Says:

    I always record an expenditure on the day I spend it -- whether it was cash or credit card. I don't count the credit card payment as an expenditure, because it's already been counted. It took me a while to figure that out!

  5. JanH Says:

    Hmmmm. I think I'm counting charges twice, too, even though there aren't many of those now. Both in a specific category and a charge payment. Yikes! Thanks for pointing that out.

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