Romance & Money
Incorporating The Cost Of Gift Giving
Budget your Christmas gifts!
Margie in Lynnwood, Washington:
"My husband and I have only been married for three months. We have barely recuperated from the expense of our wedding and now he's spending a fortune on Christmas gifts for his family, without even asking or telling me. I have told my family that we're going to be very conservative with gifts this year, and they've decided that since we're newlyweds, they'd like us all to choose names, and each only buy one gift. They are doing this out of respect for our financial situation. So when he spends all this money on his family, I am hurt and angry. What can we do to keep this from happening again?"
Congratulations on your recent marriage. Now, in order to keep that recent marriage in good condition, you and your husband need to sit down and have a meeting of the minds.
If your financial situation is not in keeping with expensive gift buying, then your husband may be in dreamland. When people are spending money they don't have, they are living a lie. When you are living a lie, the relationship will come apart at the seams, but it sounds as if you know that already.
The best way I know to wake someone from a financial dreamland is to develop a realistic budget.
"Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake."
Wake your husband up by calmly sitting down with him and writing down your monthly income and bills. Do this together. Below you can click on the monthly budget worksheet for some guidance. Then write your goals of home ownership, or children, or a trip to Tahiti, down on another piece of paper. Don't assume he knows your situation off the top of his head. Trust me people don't know where they stand financially until they see it in writing. Don't assume.
"Assumptions are the termites of relationships."
Then create a budget that fits both of your daily lives and don't leave out savings. Now after you've done all this, create a holiday shopping budget for both families that is equitable. If it's over-indulgent to one family, and neglectful of the other, it will only propagate resentment. Writing down your reality should wake your husband from his dream. If not, then seek financial counseling from a professional.
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