Saturday, November 28, 2009
Talking Turkey About Thanksgiving, Shopping and Stuff~
Yeah, it's not about thanking the Indians as some say today, although I am sure the grateful pilgrims were thankful to God and their friends, the Indians for the wonderful harvest and being ready for the harsh winter of Plymouth.
Now that the turkey at my house is cut off the bone..what's left of him, that is...is not put in the freezer (who can eat another bite of it?) and the carcass is boiled into stock and chilling in the fridge for me to debone and defat then freeze, I have a few thoughts about the coming holiday season and all that it will entail for many of us.
First I want to encourage us all to stay on track with our budgets. I know that's a "dirty word" this time of year with all the pressures of 'giving' and decorating and such! But please, PLEASE find in your heart IF YOU NEED TO like I do...a WAY to give yourself permission to do Christmas on less this year. There will be some areas you won't be satisfied with for sure, but soothe those thoughts with the knowledge that debt is decreasing and that you are making headway in a more frugal, controlled lifestyle. Relish this thought when the doubts and fears of inadequacy loom large. I know I sound so completely convinced and secure on my blog! I know it looks like I "have it all together," but you have to understand dear reader that I am COMING from my own place of struggle and issues learning well how to manage these places too! Please forgive me if I sound smug. I don't intend to, but rather I intend to inspire us all to press onward towards our goals~each of our individual goals of becoming debt free and financially sound.
In this I want to also say that you will find pressures all around you as we navigate the holidays. I stay out of the malls and shopping centers as much as possible because as I cast my eye around I begin often to WANT what I may not have NOW...maybe in the future, but not now...you know, delayed gratification is something to be strived for in this life! It's so hard though when I am tempted by the sights and sounds AND smells of shopping "experiences." WHO can go into such places without succumbing to the urges to pull out our hard earned cash? I am NOT suggesting that you never shop. I am just suggesting that we all be aware of the LURE of well place and planned marketing~CALLING OUT to us~to get us to spend. Ever been near a cosmetic counter in a department store and smelled and lushious smells? I LOVE to go and "try" the perfumes and colognes. But this is exactly what is wanted. Then I will WANT those things that my budget RIGHT now won't allow me. . . In time, anything, well, relatively anything can be gained. But it might take some time if we don't cave into using credit if cash is tight or bills are due. First things should be first. I am going to suggest that we make a list of things we need to spend our money on that we should be doing with it...carry it around and if tempted,,,,did I say that UGLY word, tempted?? But yes. Tempted to spend what we don't have for what we really can do without in lu of items or services we NEED because of an instant rush or feel good. An example is needing dental work. I have no dental insurance. I pay full-boat retail~no insurance breaks, so it's very costly to go. How I have procrastinated and spent on other things, things that if I had saved I could have these areas taken care of rather than waiting. Waiting on PAIN, I guess, because I know if I get into pain, I will FIND THE MONEY and go~but why not plan strategically and take care now? It's not a fun thing to think about is it? Make that list. Is it dental, medical, unpaid credit cards or loans, unpaid obligations, tithes, for some: child support . . .it can go on and on WHAT FIRST THINGS our money needs to attend, then the things that are nice, but not necessary lastly.
I love wonderful things just like the next person. I'm not trying to make us feel guilty, but to bring an awareness of a distinct way our money can be sifting through our fingers out of our grasp.
I did do some Black Friday shopping. I did. I compared price and quality, and did it online. I was not tempted by the atmosphere or any other factors other than our need to make some well planned purchases. The only drawback was the almost $9 I payed in shipping, but let me say that my truck would've used that much gasoline, so I am good there! As far as one other drawback, and it may bite me . . .will have to let you know. . . I could not assure the quality of the product by careful examination as if I had touched it in a store or seen it first hand. ALL descriptions are not equal as we know! So we shall see if this is something I will do again, but I did take my needs list and shop for those items~a new jacket for both children @$7 each wasn't a bad deal. They both needed one. I've seen thrift store jackets that expensive or price!!
Each of us has to evaluate our own situation for our own individual goals. You may not be where I've been or where I am now. I've had more, and I've had less. The big thing about it all is not so much in WHAT WE HAD, but what we got to keep~the security of savings~which with debt isn't any at all~just debt. Remember to evaluate and have a hard conversation with a sobering list~baubles are pretty, and I like them~but they don't hold value, and when my teeth fall out, I guess I will be gumming the turkey and smiling my toothless smile ;-( all the while the junk I've gotten gets dusty and decays. First things FIRST! Even during the holidays! Try not to succumb to pressures~lift up our eyes toward Heaven and keep on doing the best we can~WE CAN OVERCOME!
Still with teeth~survived BLK FRI and HOPING to enjoy a blessed Christmas