Holiday Hot Button: Not-So-Merry Marital Tensions

Cost-saving tips to save your family a little money (and headache) this holiday season

Holidays are meant to be spent celebrating with loved ones, not battling over finances. To avoid conflict, couples need to first establish their values surrounding the holidays. They should collectively agree upon the aspects that are important to them during these occasions. By having this discussion, couples get on the same page with each other and move forward knowing their partner’s wants and expectations.

From there, they will be able to outline their holiday plans. If these plans include events, trips or traditions that involve finances, budgets for each of them must also be established and adhered to. For instance, if gift-giving is a holiday tradition of yours, you and your spouse must determine who you will give gifts to and how much you will spend on each person. A budget is no good if you don’t stick to it, so no deviating!

Make it your own….

Over the years, I’ve found that the most memorable holiday experiences were the ones that I spent doing something meaningful with the ones I loved. My family and I have come up with our own holiday traditions that cost little or no money, such as serving food at our local homeless shelter. Ever since my boys were young, we have volunteered our time at the shelter. Not only has it saved us money, my family is better from the experience, which continue to show them the true meaning of holidays.

Plan ahead…

While the holidays usually bring good sales and discounts, leaving purchases to the last minute can sometimes leave you in a bind. I suggest that couples shop throughout the year keeping an eye out for discounts on non-perishable items that they will need for holidays (napkins and plastic cutlery, charcoal or specific gifts.) This will help couples get the best price while spreading out spending throughout the year and avoiding that massive credit card statement in January.

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