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Holiday Spending: Talking with Your Partner about Money

#7. When You’re Really Tempted to Splurge

From: 11 Holiday Stresses, and What to Do Instead.

  • Don’t spend more than you can afford.
  • Do talk with each other about what giving gifts means, and about the budget, before shopping.

If we want to really make a holiday special, our big plans may well involve spending more money.

Some couples find holiday spending a recurring source of conflict, especially if they have different styles and attitudes toward money. One may insist on steering clear of credit, the other wants to splurge. If you don’t know how to talk these things through, you may end up feeling resentful, angry, or not listened to, instead of good about your holiday together.

Mindfulness Helps Reveal What’s Important

Mindfulness is key. What if you could look at your disagreement, not as a reason to argue or find fault with each other, but as an opportunity to share and learn about yourselves, and what is most important to you?

What would happen if you agreed to look deeper into the cost of the holiday expense? What does that purchase really mean to you? Is it important to invest in a trip to visit with someone special, someone who has limited time to see you?

Are you longing to feel appreciated regardless of what you can earn, and to feel loved and accepted even if the amount is not what you wish it could be?

Time is Our Most Valuable Investment

Unless we are mindful, we may fall into thinking the holidays are about what you can spend on gifts. What is our most valuable gift during our days off work? “It’s time,” writer George W. Stone reminds us. “Time is your most valuable commodity and your chief investment in a holiday.”

Before shopping, how might you explore your hopes and dreams for your life together? Bob Hope is quoted as saying, “When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.”


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