Set a budget. Make a list. Check it twice. Cross off those who have been truly naughty! And then make a game of staying within your budget for those you love. Come January when the credit cards come due, you’ll be thankful you did.
“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” Woody Allen
Okay all you R.A.D.I.C.A.L. Women, Spending what money you do have with reason and discipline will help keep you out of poverty. Remember that these next 19 days. Here we go. Thanksgiving is over. You survived it. Barely or beautifully. But you survived. Now, it’s on to the other holidays … Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza. A word to the wise about the holidays and especially about shopping: Remember, “It’s not about the stuff!” Don’t put your own budget in the red for months and months by shopping without a plan! I agree, there are some great bargains to be had out there, even if you missed Black Friday. In fact, some of the Black Friday deals turn out to be not so great, so if you missed them, don’t fret. Here are some simple, easy to remember holiday tips for shopping:
1. Make a budget.
2. Make a list.
3. Don’t buy anything that you wouldn’t buy otherwise just because it’s on sale. Beware of all those little things that they put close to the check-out stand that you didn’t intend to buy, but are enticing.
4. Remember that the holidays aren’t about the stuff, even though during a divorce we are tempted to try to buy happiness and peace and some semblance of our old life back. (Money can’t buy any of the really important things.)
Remember this, too. Many Americans are still paying off last year’s holiday purchases in October or November of the next year. Don’t do that!
Keep in mind that the holidays are NOT ABOUT THE STUFF! This is a perfect time to learn/teach that lesson. Your budget is different now that you are divorced. Be realistic about that and don’t overspend! Those valuable lessons are being taught by this economy anyway. One good thing about the economy now is that most everyone is cutting back, so we’re not going to be sticking out like a sore thumb if we don’t go on an exotic vacation over Christmas break or we aren’t ordering the biggest and the brightest stuff. Everyone is spending more wisely these days.
So, go on out there and have fun shopping! Follow the rules above. After you’ve been at it awhile, stop at your favorite coffee shop and have something yummy. This allows you to regroup a bit and go over your list and remind yourself to stick to your budget. And above all, enjoy the experience regardless of how much or how little you have.
Oh yes, and one more thing:
5. Wear comfortable shoes!
Have a fun day whatever you’re doing. All of you MDR Community members, re-read the Surviving the Holidays While You’re Surviving Divorce e-document on the site. If you haven’t joined yet, this is a great time to try us out. Only $1 for a 15-day trial membership. Just the Holiday e-book is worth checking us out! Also available is the RADICAL Grieving: The Grief of Divorce. Plus you can try out the Community Forum as well. Now that’s a bargain!
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Suzy developed Midlife Divorce Recovery as a safe refuge for people healing and surviving the overwhelm of divorce. Starting her first RADiCAL support group in 2003 she's been helping women navigate the journey of divorce ever since.