Black Friday. For a few of you, today is your favorite holiday of the year. You left the house this morning in the cloak of darkness, just drooling with anticipation over BIG sales. Nope. You weren’t intimidated by crowds of unwashed masses because you were giddy with the thrill of the hunt.
I just wonder how many arguments occur on Black Friday afternoon?
How many women arrive home with bags of their conquest to a husband who isn’t the least bit impressed?
Finances are one of the main reasons couples argue and divorce. Can I get a HUGE knee-slapping Amen!? Paul and I have our fair share of money arguments…ahem, debates. We learned quite a while ago that open communication about hard and fast numbers can divert a relationship disaster.
Paul and I had a financial meeting this week. This means, I had to open my eyes to some cold hard facts: We’re not the Rockefellers. Our savings account isn’t a bottomless pit and we need a plan to get through December.
As he pulled up the numbers on our finances, I had a cold splash of money-reality, and those new throw rugs and curtains I want this month? Yeah, they went up in plume of smoke.
I can easily spend way too much on way too little. Paul is painfully logical and will remind me, “The kids won’t even remember if you had Christmas garland on the staircase.” He’s right. I know they won’t, but when I see twinkling garland decorated in burlap and pine cones I lose my ever-loving mind.
But, maybe this is the year the answer is I make more of my gifts? Dave Ramsey likes to say, “Live like no one else, so one day you can live like no one else.
It’s true. Christmas has the potential to cause nuclear blow-ups. When you don’t budget, the collateral damage is Christmas garland that brings back a bad memory every year and children who receive lots of toys along with parents who aren’t speaking on Christmas morning.
This may be the most important practical advice I can give you this season. Are you ready to begin the most wonderful time of the year and experience peace?
- Budget Christmas. Sit down with your husband and come up with a number you can spend. Stick to it. Respect him and show him you don’t want to add to his financial burden. If you’re one of the weak ones, like me, don’t use a credit card this month. Take the money out of the bank in cash and when the money’s gone—you’re done spending. By all means budget—it will save you much heartache in your marriage.
- Your Husband is on Your Side. He loves you. He wants to give you and the kids a magical Christmas, too. Remember, he hates putting the kabash on your vision of sugar plums. But, God gave him the burden of provision and a logical perspective. Love him back by respecting the budget you come up with.
- Teach Your Kids. Do you want children to have lasting memories of the Christmas season? Then don’t show them lots of shopping, sales, and more sales. Show them you spend more time baking cookies, teaching them about the birth of Jesus, serving those who may be hurting this Christmas.
Before you get caught up in the razzle dazzle of the Christmas season, take a few minutes and talk with your husband about what razzle dazzle actually looks like to both of you. Then come up with a number and stick with it. On Christmas morning when you’re cuddling with your man and thanking God for the peace of no debt—you’ll experience the best Christmas yet.