Money Management & The Holiday Season

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The holiday season brings forth so many wonderful things: good food, family gatherings, presents, and the list just goes on and on. Personally, the holidays,especially Christmas, is just a magical time for me and I look forward to it every year. One of my family’s traditions is to draw names for Christmas at Thanksgiving dinner. The goal of this tradition is to ensure that every person receives a gift and that everyone is able to save some money. This was especially important this year considering the economic state our country is in. So this year like every other year everyone agreed that we would stick to buying a present for the person whose name we pulled. However, this year like every other year for as long as I can remember, the rule was thrown out the window, and my mother and I spent hours and hours in shopping centers and department stores and hundreds and hundreds of dollars buying Christmas gifts for everyone in our family. After the shopping was over and our retail therapy “high” began to fade, the realization of how much money we had spent began to sink in as it does year after year.

I am sure that my family is not the first and definitely not the last to go a little overboard with the Christmas shopping and for those people who are nodding their heads in agreement you know all too well the consequences of overspending during the holidays and the stress that it can bring, especially with your spouse or signficant other. Although it is too late at this point to give you any money-saving shopping tips or advice for the holidays use this time and opportunity to discuss money management with your spouse or significant other. The Alabama Marriage Handbook provides us with several tips to help you effectively manage your money with your partner.

  1. Set aside a regular time each month to discuss money issues (i.e. your budget, planned expenses, debt-reduction plan).
  2. Talk regularly about ways to better manage your money.
  3. Use a team approach (respect each other’s differences, and work toward decisions both of you agree with).
  4. Keep each other up to date on all personal assets and debts.
  5. Discuss and come to agreements about how to use any extra money.
  6. Write short and long-range financial goals together.
  7. As you get financial goals, remember to be realistic, specific, and flexible.
  8. Remember to use positive communication skills when discussing money.

I hope that these tips help you start or improve on you and your partner’s money management skills and who knows maybe when next years’ holiday season rolls around you will be able to apply some of those tips and advice to your holiday shopping.  Happy Holidays!

Jaleesa Albadani

Graduate Research Assistant

Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative

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