We are NOT Failing to Plan for the Holidays!

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We are NOT Failing to Plan for the Holidays!

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My daughter has a favorite saying. It is: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

I have heard it before, and I guess most of you have. We heard it from the same place she did, a teacher trying to get students to plan ahead and be prepared for their classes.

It fits her personality and her Asperger needs.

She happened to say this (for the millionth time) about something she was working on while I was looking at our budget and thinking of the holidays, or rather, trying not to think of the holidays. Even though she was not really talking to me, her words hit me like a ton of bricks.

If I fail to really plan out every part of our holiday season, I am planning to fail our family financially.

We had managed to squeeze some money into savings, but my son took a 15 foot fall and broke his arm, which required an ER visit, stitches, and surgery.

THANK GOODNESS his arm was the worst of it for him. Trust me, we will gladly take the financial fallout to have him home and safe with us. No matter how glad we are though, those bills have to be paid, and that savings is now long gone.

The holidays are still coming, no matter what the number is in my checking account.

With my daughter's words ringing in my ears, I began to make a list. Not just of gifts to give, but of all the holiday expenses.

There are the holiday meals, holiday baking, holiday cards, stamps, office gifts, school activities, and special holiday events.

All of these things take money and need to be accounted for.

We need to objectively evaluate which holiday activities are important and meaningful and which we can drop.

We need to evaluate which important and meaningful activities we can afford or ways we can make them work.

I put on what we call Pumpkin Palooza every year.  We go to our local pumpkin patch and the kids each get a pumpkin to carve and I get a whole bunch of sugar pumpkins. Then I process all the pumpkins and have a ton of pumpkin glop. I make it into a bunch of treats from scratch.

I make pies, bread, cookies, ice cream, cheesecakes, butter, tarts, and any new recipes I find that year. It is so much fun for me. Our house smells wonderful for days and I really enjoy kicking off the holiday season by giving these homemade gifts. People wait for this all year.

We decided to skip it this year. It cost us a lot for the supplies and we cannot afford it.

When people at Daryl's work heard there would be no pumpkin treats this year, donations began pouring in. Sugar, flour, spices, sugar pumpkins, empty jars all left on his desk.  It will be smaller than usual but once again making a hard decision has paid off unexpectedly.

Not only do we still get to have Pumpkin Palooza but it is nice to know that it means something to other people too.

We also usually drive quite a distance away and pay to go to a "Holiday Lights" show. Tickets are not much, ($5 a person) so we always say it is worth it. We usually 'fail to plan' the gas and dinner. I know they are there but since I want to go I do not think about those expenses.

You cannot take food in and it is several hours to go through the area. They also sell hot chocolate and little things that we usually get. 

I think we have to pass this year.

It is sad to us that we have to give up some things but it is math not magic.

With no credit cards, no savings, and our mountain of bills, if we pay for this we will not have money for a tree or stockings. We just won't. 

We do not have to like the facts to accept them. 

We are not done planning. It is hard, but at least we are not planning to fail and THAT is something to be proud of.

Kimberly Davis, Debt Management Plan customer with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Kimberly Davis

I have been married for 15 years and we have two kids. We have had a rough few years; between my Mom's having to come and live with us to my husband's lay off.  We are very eager to get our finances under control with the CareOne Debt Management Plan because our kids have BIG college plans. We have plans too and they include traveling with our trailer and being able to retire at some point, so this debt just has to go!  I live in California with my family and am  focused on making real changes so that we can get started on a fun debt-free future.You many know me in the Community Forums as Kimmer5000 and I am now a compensated blogger for CareOne!  Check out my blog under A Straight Talk onDebt!

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  • Kim you are exactly right it is hard to give up our holiday traditions, but new ones are being made.  I hope this Christmas brings you better things than any Christmas you have experienced yet.  You are making tough choices, but ones that will make you feel better after the holidays!!  Hugs to you and yours!

  • Thanks! We need them! Same to you and yours! It is hard but support here makes it at least feel less awful.

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