Christmas is undoubtedly a time to:
EAT (and not just any old food; all the delicacies seem to be on the menu during the festive season. The food companies know this and so raise their prices at this time of year.)
DRINK (which usually translates to drinking A LOT)
MERRY (which in my experience usually means a lot of going out, meeting friends for a drink, picnics, BBQs etc)
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this time of year, acknowledging the old and welcoming in the new as well as all the yummy food, the Christmas cheer and getting together with friends old and new. However, as a single mum, or simply as a human I would suspect – this time of year is absolutely crippling financially.
I’m not sure how YOU get through this time of year?
What I do know is this: from the outside looking in, I am dead certain that it looks as though I am made of money. Which is nothing short of hilarious as it is so far from the truth it isn’t funny! Buying gifts, alcohol, and food, entertaining galore, is the norm for this time of the year…
To make matters even more…. Expensive lol, my daughter’s birthday is immediately before Christmas and my son is very early in the new year, and a very dear little cherub in our world is in between the two. Yes, that is three kids’ birthdays, Christmas and NYE, all within 10 days – EEEK!!
In addition, there is the small fact of six weeks’ summer school holidays that happen at this time of year and all that comes with it. Preparing for the new school year, with all the supplies and uniforms one needs to buy, seems to be endless!
No wonder that by end of January, I am well and truly out of money and ALWAYS starting the year from well behind the 8 ball!
When (and how) will this vicious cycle end I ask you?
If I am really honest (and that is my promise to you and me for all my blogs – the REAL TRUTH) it’s not only that I am out of money. I am living on credit, and most years seem to max out my credit card over this period of time. This means that I am actually paying much more than what I actually spend, in interest over the year, which is like pouring masses of salt into an open wound ☹
My experience continually seems to be the same. Each year I start the year not only from behind, but I seem to be playing catch up, upon catch up, year after year – and that is a frightfully scary place to come from.
In preparation for this blog, I have been speaking with many about how they “survive” this time of year, and it would appear that sadly, I am not alone in my circumstances!
From what I can tell, most people, especially if they have kids, need to take time off work. So, in addition to paying out a heap of money for the kids (and their friends) food and entertainment during this time, they are also not making money during this time. This doubles the burden on the wallet, which in turn can (and does) cause stress, anxiety, depression, separation, sadness, frustration, anger. All too often people take to hiding from the actual situation behind the bottle and other addictions; pretending to themselves and others that all is ok.
I am so sick of playing catch up, especially given it appears to be taking me more and more time each year to catch up on this Christmas fallout.
The reason for this Blog is simple: it is March already (no idea how that happened???) and I am only just starting to recover from the Christmas break. I figured others might be in the same situation, so I thought I would invite you to comment as to what you and your family do to navigate this time of year. How do you achieve enjoyment of the festive season, yet don’t spend the next 3 – 6 months in utter financial breakdown as a result, only to set yourself up to do it all over again the following year?
There must be a way to get off this merry go round. I know I have a few answers in how to save money and give people breathing space when it comes to being swamped with debt, but I would love-love-love to hear any tips and tricks you have come up with, that help to navigate this often tricky and all-consuming time of year.
Feel free to leave your comments below and to like our “Debt Angels” Facebook page for more ideas about how you can reclaim control of your debt, ultimately giving you back your life.
Have a great week and many blessings to you and yours.
p.s. Always remember we are here if you need an Angel to help Guide you