My church has a 4-part program for engaged couples whereby they receive instruction on various topics including communication, finances (even sex!) to help them prepare for a lifetime together.
For many years my wife and I have volunteered to lead the session on finances since investing and the financial markets have been a hobby/passion of mine since 1991 and my wife is a master at managing household finances as she keeps a family of 8 fed, clothed and entertained on whatever money I have brought in each month since 1995.
The program was launched right around the time the housing bubble lost its shine in 2008.
As fears and anxiety about the economy rose (and continue) I've been telling couples in the program that now is a wonderful time to get married because the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses is greatly diminished.
The reason I say the pressure is down is because when we are faced with difficult times we are forced to cut out the fluff and focus on what matters, i.e., paying the bills. This leads to reducing debt by eating at home with family instead of going to an expensive dinner, renting a movie instead of going to the theater, playing games at home with family instead of goofing off somewhere you shouldn't be spending money you can't easily replace, etc.
Those types of activities make all families stronger and they create solid foundations and traditions on which new couples can build lasting marriages. It helps us al build up ours savings. It reduces arguments about money. It cuts down on the "noise"
This year, whether times are tough for you or not, make a decision to not only ignore the noise coming from advertisers this year but also commit to not contribute to the noise either.
So live large this Christmas by going small:
- Eat less.
- Shop less.
- Give more to those with less.
- Build stronger relationships with your spouse, family and friends.
(This is part of my Christmas-themed posts. You may also like Be Unique. Say Merry Christmas and Merry New Year. Happy Christmas. 44 ways to be happy and fulfilled.
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