The bows are untied, the tape is un-taped, the gifts have been given. He loved the iPad and
she loved her beautiful piece of jewelry. It wasn’t quite in your budget range, but it was the
holidays and you knew without it she/he JUST wouldn’t be happy.
On January 1st, will you be suffering from a financial hangover?
No question that it is a nice feeling to give to those you love. However, giving beyond your means usually translates into feelings of guilt sometimes for both the giver and the receiver. If the receiver is aware you’ve been struggling financially, then it can be challenging to accept an expensive gift that comes with weeks or months of you making costly credit card payments.
As the giver, the buying and presenting of the special item can give you that happy feeling but coming up on the tale end is the financial fallout. Just as you know that next drink is going to cost you in the morning, you usually have an idea that your “in the moment happy feeling” now will come to a crashing halt soon.
If you’re in a significant relationship and your partner isn’t aware of your financial challenges then the new year is a great time to sit down to discuss it. Some of the main issues that jeopardize relationships involve core values.
When you and your partner do not have similar core values on topics such as parenting (want kids/don’t want kids, parenting style), fun/enjoyment, career, intimacy and finances you are most likely headed toward a forked road. Avoiding difficult topics, hoping things work themselves out or thinking that eventually the other person will change are the perfect ingredients for a recipe for disaster.
Perhaps your partner is better at managing finances and can actually offer you some education and ideas on coming up with a plan to get things in order. If you are both in similar circumstances and envision a future together, talking about it and finding a financial expert who can help you both move toward building a sound future demonstrates maturity and commitment.
There can be feelings of shame around poor finances. Often people find themselves in debt simply from a lack of understanding or awareness. Consumerism, just like obesity, has become epidemic. Prevention is the best approach but if it is too late for that, then getting real and putting yourself on a spending diet is the way to begin to take control.
If you are currently single and facing financial challenges, then now is the time to clean up your debts and create a plan for always being able to take care of your own needs. Financial independence, particularly for women, is extremely important.
Don’t wait for Prince Charming to come along and save the day…and if he does come riding up, make sure one of the things you share, in addition to the incredible chemistry, is a respect for sound financial planning. If money is tight, be willing to give each other the gift of time together instead of presents with price tags…and avoid those financial hangovers. 2011 is a great time to take the reins in the arena of finance!
By: Life Coach Tambre Leighn, of CoachingByTambre.com