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Minimize Spending Around the Holidays as a Divorced Parent

December 21, 2021
Advice, Divorce, Money, Parenting Tips

The holiday season is in full swing. For those who are recently divorced, this may be the first time managing the highs and lows of this busy time on your own. In addition to the busyness associated with the season, it’s a prime time for spending, and sometimes overspending. This may create an even more unique challenge for those who formerly lived off of two incomes or made decisions about money with their ex. Moreover, as a newly divorced parent, it can be tempting to overindulge your children due to the guilt you might feel about the end of your relationship with your ex. With all of this in mind, you may be in need of some advice on how to minimize spending during the holiday season. Fortunately, there are ways you can have a joyful time without overextending yourself financially. 

Create a Budget

When it comes to minimizing spending, creating a budget is always beneficial. Last year,  families spent approximately $850 on Christmas gifts, alone. If the holidays you celebrate involve gift-giving, establish a total amount that you’re willing to spend, and commit to that number. As you’re creating this budget, be sure to set aside some time to discuss what your ex’s holiday plans are for the children. Doing so will help you adjust your own budget, and avoid buying the same gifts or planning the same activities.

A budget is also important to help avoid holiday debt. The last thing you want is to be in debt going into the new year, especially if your finances have already been impacted by your divorce. Be mindful of overusing credit cards if you can’t afford to pay them back. Remember that the most important thing you can give to the ones you love is love. While it’s true that many children unknowingly look forward to the expensive aspects of the holiday season, they will appreciate your time, love and attention in the long run. 

Determine How to Maintain or Create Traditions Frugally

Last year, many families’ holiday season was interrupted by the pandemic. This year, most are hoping to get back to tradition, but in a safe way. This may involve preparing your home to host family and friends. As a recent divorcè, things will certainly be different without your former mate. However, if you’re still planning to keep up certain traditions, such as having family over for dinner and gift exchanging, you’ll need to ensure that your home is ready to receive those guests.

If you have remained in the same home following the divorce, you might have some work ahead of you. Without another adult in the home, some home maintenance may have fallen by the wayside as you have been adjusting to the single life with children. Before you have people over, your house may need some sprucing up. If an appliance needs replacing or a communal area in the home needs a little love, it’s important to take care of such matters prior to guests arriving. To avoid deviating from or eating into your holiday budget and leading to overspending or excessive credit card use, you may need to consider a personal loan to cover the cost of these improvements. This will give you the opportunity to pay for any repairs or replacements over time. If you find that too much maintenance is needed on the home before guests will arrive, it would be financially wise to opt out of hosting holiday festivities this year to avoid overspending. This may present an opportunity to start a new, more simplistic holiday tradition with your children. 

As a recent divorcé, your life has likely seen a lot of change. The holiday season is no exception, but making it a joyous time is still possible by applying the tips above.

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