How Couples Can Avoid Fighting about Money During the Holidays

Posted on 08. Dec, 2010 by in Arguments, Communication, Money

Most women love to shop.  Truth be told, the holidays can be the perfect excuse for women to not only engage in – but ramp up into full gear – this favorite female pastime activity. Never mind that I, the bizarre person I can be at times hates shopping.  (I know, this alone should throw me out of the club called “womanhood” forever.)  Although I hate shopping, I find myself spending a ton of time and money shopping during the holiday season; and like the rest of you, I suspect I spend more time shopping during the holiday season than at any other time during the year.

This means we spend more money during the holidays than any other time of the year as well.  And therein lies the rub for most relationships – fighting about money rearing its ugly head once again – but now it gets even uglier because the fighting takes place during the holidays and this time it usually centers around how much money we are spending on gifts, decorations, food, etc.  

How do we avoid fighting with our partner about the amount of money we spend during the holidays?

Do you spend out of control and way over budget – and not say a word about it to your partner?  Do you just wait until the credit card bill arrives in late January and then have a huge blow out fight?

Or do you pay cash so your partner doesn’t know how much you really spent on the Coach handbag you bought for your niece?  

Maybe you don’t even realize how much you are spending on your holiday purchases because you truly get caught up in the spirit of the gift-giving season.

Whatever your style of shopping and spending money might be, here are a few of Dr. Patty Ann’s Relationship Tips for Avoiding Money Fights during the Holidays – or when the credit card bill comes due.

  1. Speak with your partner and agree on a Budget before you even think about shopping for anyone on your list.  I know, I know, it sounds boring and the Holidays are all about giving, but remember, less can be more.  Really.
  2. Make a list of people you and your partner have agreed to purchase gifts for this holiday season and stick to the list.  Do not add names as you go along.  If you didn’t put the substitute teacher on the original gift-giving list you and you just remembered them while in the store – do not buy a gift for them. If you really, really, really want to let this substitute teacher know you are thinking about them during the holidays, bake them a pie or give them a call and let them know you are thinking of them.  Believe me, we all realize what a precious commodity time is for everyone – especially during the holidays; and people will appreciate the fact that you took time out of your hectic holiday schedule to think of them.
  3. Avoid impulsive purchases.  Just because something is on “sale” it doesn’t mean you have to buy it.  If the sale item is over-budget for the person you would be buying this gift for – do not buy it. It doesn’t matter that the item is on sale.  Walk away from it.   The receiver of the gift will never know you passed on that great pair of earrings you thought had their name written all over it.  

In my work with couples I have found that a little bit of pre-arranged conversation and budgeting between you and your partner will go a long way in avoiding holiday money fights – before, during and long after the holidays. 

Finally remember, it doesn’t cost us a dime to show people your love and affection for them.  So try to remember “less is more” and time spent together is the type of spending Dr. Patty Ann recommends during the holiday season!

Rekindle Romance and Happiness in Your Relationship,

Dr. Patty Ann
www.drpattyann.com
www.drpattyann.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
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