Bob and I have some financial goals for the next couple of years, and we're working the kinks out of our new budget. It's really nice that we're getting a huge tax refund this year. As I was thinking about it and discussing it with Bob, though, I realized that it would be wiser to decrease our withholding, rather than, in essence, loan it to the government all year. So... I did the math, projected what our 1040 might look like next year, and then divided excess being withheld by Bob's 26 pay periods. What it amounts to? A small raise. But a raise that's significantly bigger than the raise he actually got this year. How fun!
Bob's talking a lot about how he'd like the budget to spread from money to time and space (the house), as well. And I'm thinking about the environment, while we're at it. For Christmas, Ellen gave me cloth grocery bags and cloth napkins, and I love using them. We're also trying to be more diligent about recycling everything we can (before this year, I've never really recycled much paper, but now I'm recycling every catalog that comes through the door, plus cereal boxes, etc.). And, we're trying to see how much we can change our energy bills by not leaving unnecessary lights on, and by turning down the thermostat when we go to bed.
As an aside, when you say "turn down the thermostat", do you mean turn down the power, so the furnace/AC isn't working as hard, or do you mean turn down the temperature? I think I'm inconsistent ... but convinced I'm right, whichever way I use it. Ugh. I always think I'm right.