Christmas is stressing me out. No, not the birth of Jesus, the gift-giving. I don't recall ever considering NOT getting people Christmas gifts. I usually just fork up the credit card (CC) and keep the party going.
This year, as I took a realistic look at my finances (thanks for taking this journey with me), I saved more than I ever had before and I don't mean saved like the dress was 40% off. I mean saved like put money in an account and didn't touch it. I also sacrificed good times more than ever before and paid more on my CC than ever before.
Side note: the fact that I sacrificed good times is really funny because I had SO many good times. Let that be a note to self when I have to skip something. There will be other fun stuff (unless I die).
I won't make my goal of paying my cards down to 0-20% in 2010, but I'm crazy proud of the strides I've made and the social and financial discipline I've built up to make 2011 even better at the bank.
Logical Tea Says:
"Forget buying all these presents. Even if you spend cash, you'll be taking it away from saving. You sacrificed all year skipping bday parties and Monday Night Football just to be Santa frickin' Claus on December 25th. Plus, Christmas isn't even about gifts. It's about Jesus, the birth of the Savior of your faith. It's about praising him, celebrating his birth and celebrating that time with friends and loved ones.
While it may seem selfish to not buy gifts, you have to start being disciplined somewhere. You have to put your foot down and make a decision to do better. And if you don't do it going into 2011, when will you do it. Your family will understand. You have to put yourself first. You're going to regret not saving for yourself more than you'll regret not buying gifts for your family."
Emotional Tea Says
"You make more money this year than you ever have before. If ever there was a time to be frivolous on gifts, this is the time. You put the "t" in Santa Claus. Of course, the holiday is about Jesus, which is why we sing happy birthday to him before we open OUR gifts. You know everyone else in the family is struggling with finances, why not help make their holiday bright? Everyone is counting on YOU to come through. You ALWAYS come through. Plus, it's not like I'm asking you to use a CC, just grab some money out of your savings, no big deal.
You're going to feel like boo-boo the fool on Christmas morning if you haven't bought gifts for people. Especially, the kids. The kids don't understand "recession" and they shouldn't have to because you're extremely blessed and you should bless others. The recession skipped your door. Plus this is the season of giving, it's not about you and your CC debt. It's about others. Spend money on others. You're going to regret not buying gifts for your family more than you would not saving for yourself."
So two questions.
1. What do you think I SHOULD do?
2. What do you think I am GOING to do? (These could be different)
And final note there is a reason logical is in black and emotional is in red. It looks like my damn balance sheet.