Obviously, you don't want to stock up on things you would never use, but it is nice to have them on hand to wrap and go.

Our cellphone woes are not over. During the week, we ordered the right cellphone, but the company sent the wrong one. It is the right model, but doesn't work on our network. We will be making a trip to an electronics store to see what they physically have in stock and hopefully get this situation resolved.

It seems that easy tasks are made difficult because some employees don't pay attention.

Earlier this year, I wrote about getting debt paid off, increasing savings and being more frugal. How has that been working for you? Have you saved money for an emergency fund or a needed appliance? We all need to keep at least four to six months of income in the bank should there be a job loss or someone gets ill and can't work.

Speaking of frugal, I just bought our first Christmas presents for 2019. I am putting them in a box in the closet so that I can find them when I need them. A smart way to save money is to purchase birthday, wedding, baby, graduation and Christmas gifts when you see nice items on sale and save them for the appropriate occasion.

Obviously, you don't want to stock up on things you would never use, but it is nice to have them on hand to wrap and go.

I always check out the clearance sections in Big Lots and Walmart in Crestview, as sometimes there are great bargains. I have found some extraordinary items at both places for a fraction of the original retail price. Keep your eyes open and you'll be amazed at what you find.

Also, think outside the box when buying for children's birthdays and so on. Puzzles, books, blocks and age appropriate DVDs are still loved by children. You don't have to go into debt for a birthday or Christmas gift.

Little boys may like a bug catcher, while little girls may want to play princess dress up. Let your gifts reflect their interests and imagination.

My nieces would dress up in wedding finery, all purchased from the thrift store, and ask me to play "Waffle Wedded Wives" on the piano for them. This was their interpretation of lawful wedded wives and the piece they wanted was Wagner's "Bridal Chorus," also known as "Here Comes the Bride." If we were at my mother's home, she would often fix them waffles for dinner after we had the wedding ceremony in the living room.

A certificate good for one afternoon with you, complete with a meal or treat, will make most children happy. Use your imagination while you are saving some money.

Let's keep our belts tightened until we reach our savings goals.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.