How to Do Christmas on a Tight Budget
By Kim Affleck
When facing the holiday season, it can be some of the most stressful time of the entire year. How much more stressful when facing an uncertain future. I’d like to help you focus on some new ways to approach Christmas.
The Bible says to love your neighbor “as yourself”. Loving yourself might mean honoring your budget especially this holiday season.
Let me share a story of a previous client and how they struggled with this dilemma.
The young couple had been coming for help for a few weeks and this time I could see she was visibly upset. This week’s assignment had been preparing the December budget. She and her husband had only $60 to spend on the entire family, even extended family.
“I buy for everyone. I love my family!” she lamented.
We talked about what her expectations were and what they had done in the past. But what they had done in the past brought them to the difficult financial condition they were in now.
I asked her, “Do you think it more loving to your family to honor your budget? Or to deny it and just go spend the money?”
This question caught her by surprise and at first she resisted adopting the new behavior my question suggested.
As we brainstormed her options, I saw her turn from what she saw as “horrid limitations”, to viewing the $60 as her resource for her expression of love.
We began focusing on what she did have to give instead of she didn’t have. She mentioned the family photo they had taken in front of the Grand Canyon that summer. The whole family was in it and the backdrop was … Grand!
Instead of feeling like she had nothing to give, she realized that this was a valuable asset and began to think about how she could copy off that photo for each person on her list. If she went to a thrift store, perhaps she could pick up frames and glass for almost nothing, spray paint them all black and matt them with a favorite Scripture and stay within her $60 budget.
Let me ask you a question? Do you think those family members or friends probably enjoyed that year’s gift more than some item from the store?
What gifts are inside you to give this season without breaking your budget?
Perhaps you know how to cook and could invite a student from a local college who cannot afford to go home for the holidays? Is there a single person or an elderly person or couple that you could have over for a meal?
Maybe you write, sing, crochet…
You, like God, are creative. No other animal writes, draws, builds, cooks… You are gifted.
Don’t just look at what you can’t do. Push into what you CAN do and probably do well. And bless those around you with a piece of you this Christmas.
Kim Affleck is a financial coach on Leslie’s team. After 35 years of marriage and raising a large family, Kim found herself divorced, scared and vulnerable. Today she works as a coach who comes along side and helps women who, like herself, need financial wisdom as they try to navigate the troubled waters of finances. She has taught Foundations in Personal Finance, a high school curriculum by Dave Ramsey’s organization. She also has lead many Crown and Financial Peace sessions. In 2007 she became a Dave Ramsey trained coach. Today she belongs to a Mastermind group of Financial coaches, Coach Connections.
You can get in touch with Kim at [email protected] or www.accountable.network/p/AfflecSP