I purposely did not answer this one right away for I thought you were going to have a lot of hubbers interested in the subject, which I find fascinating... You are not only talking budget, but budget on a string.
If you allow a quick story. First Holiday season that I was to have as a single mom with no job and my six year old, I was already planning on it by April of that year. I remember making a line at the bank to deposit $5.
That Holiday Season I was able to bank out $800, out of miracle pocket change.
It does not matter your income level, and this is not an original concept of mine, PAY YOURSELF FIRST. This very morning I got my deposit. First thing I did was to transfer my specified amount to savings, my other amount to investing, my children's allotments, and THEN I head out to the bank to pay the mortgage.
Quick structured tips here that I use:
1. Write it down- You have to write your budget down. In any event, whatever plan you have for your life, they best be in writing
2. Be realistic- I wish I could pay my credit card off in a year, but it has to be in four. But is a plan that I can follow through.
3. If you do not need it, do not buy it- I agree with Skiffer, we have to refrain. Especially with a baby. Know that you will have true emergencies, and money will be required for them.
4. Look at it in terms of months and years, not days- Whenever I look at my budget I prefer looking at it on a yearly basis, that way I keep myself motivated with how much I've been saving.
Don't neglect to enjoy every once in a while, just don't splurge! Splurging is out!
My hub on the matter