The pressure to spend more and more in our United States capitalist society is never more evident than during the holidays.
We’re bombarded with more and more advertising and may even fall prey to the “keeping up with the neighbors” mentality that has us spending more money than spending time together with our loved ones.
I’ve heard tales of compulsive shoppers, for whom holiday shopping on a budget is never on the cards, and they have gone far into debt, maxing out credit cards and emptying savings accounts simply to “make it a good Christmas.”
I believe this is wrong thinking!
You’re not doing your family or your pocketbook any favors by overspending. It’s time (not money) that you should be allocating to the holidays and families.
Things are temporary; toys break, gifts are put away and forgotten. But, by spending time together, with family and friends, the memories you make are long-lasting.
These memories will be prized possessions for your partner and family that they can open and revisit again and again.
This can be achieved only by spending more time with family!
Practice budgeting for holidays
If you’re not independently wealthy, you should stay within a reasonable budget. Start early in the year with budgeting to enjoy the holidays and spend time with the family to avoid overspending.
You can open a separate account in the spring and sock away some money to use during holiday time. If you do this faithfully, you will have a tidy sum to play with and can use it to make some wonderful memories during the holidays.
This should be a shared endeavor with both you and your partner contributing a set amount each payroll cycle. Then you can agree on how you want to divide and spend it.
Budgeting is a great discipline to cultivate that will teach you the importance of spending time with family and friends. If you’re not in the habit of doing this, it will be a definite learning experience for you both.
You might have to sacrifice a little now so that you and your partner/family can enjoy the holidays debt-free. Don’t fall into the “we can just put it on the credit card” cycle.
It will surely come back to bite you later!
What can couples do for fun?
The first step towards planning the activities for married couples to do together is to carve out a couple’s time from your busy schedule. Make date nights a priority.
There are always fun events happening during the holiday season; take your partner out, and have some fun. Holiday parties and events make memories for the future and give you more shared experiences to bind you together.
There are many things couples can do for fun by spending time together, like taking photos and celebrating the season by spending time together and enjoying one another’s company.
Participate in some sort of service together, visit elders, or contribute to your community in a way that lets you do something meaningful with your time.
Take blankets to homeless shelters, towels to the dog shelter, go through your closets, and donate some coats for needy folks. There are so many people in need, and you and your partner can help.
These are things more important than money in a relationship. So, always remember to spend holidays with family rather than focusing on splurging and competing with peers.
At-home activities for couples
Stay in at least one night out of every few nights during the holiday rush for spending time together.
Catch your breath, and catch up with each other by snuggling up to watch your favorite holiday movies together. This can be a family affair or an intimate cuddle fest with your partner.
The point is to shut out all the noise and just be together, relaxed with no demands on either of you beyond popping some popcorn or a wine cork.
You can also take up relationship-building activities while you are spending time together at home. This can be a great way to bond with each other while having fun.
How to save money during the holidays?
One of the vital holiday spending tips is- Limit gift-giving – avoid impulse buying!
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters.
His weekend workshop, Two Days: Seven Conversations has become a popular venue for many to set off on their journey of connectedness. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship-related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channel. Stuart practices in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he lives with his loving wife of many years, and their therapy dog, Ollie.