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Don’t Be Naughty This Holiday Season

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The article originally appeared on frugayity.com

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Everyone seems to be in a great mood, and you are eagerly awaiting your traditional holiday shopping spree. Before you get too carried away, keep in mind that it’s okay to buy things for people in your life, but it is not okay to go into debt just to do so.

I will rephrase that last part. If you can’t afford to buy presents in cash, then do not buy them at all. First off, the $100 sweater may turn into $125 if you don’t pay it off immediately. Secondly, people have enough stuff around the house, they don’t need extra trinkets. As sentimental as you may think they are, they will most likely end up in a drawer somewhere. And finally, there is no logical reason to go into debt just so you can get into the holiday spirit.

Our society has gotten extremely gift-centric. We spend more time and effort on material items than we do on experiences and creating memories. I recall an episode of the Golden Girls where Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia made each other presents to celebrate Christmas instead of going out any purchasing them. Making something from the heart is thoughtful and usually means more to the other person than a gift card or Gucci belt. Actually, I do love my Gucci belt!

But I digress. If you are in a gift-giving mood and want to do something special, invite your closest friends to your home for a holiday dinner. You can even go overboard and serve lobster or steak. It will still cost you less money than buying presents for everyone. They will appreciate a well thought out dinner party more than any gift you give.

Another option is to plan a group photo shoot. Get dressed in your favorite holiday outfits and hire a photographer for an hour to take some fun photos of you and your friends. I guarantee you will remember that day for a long time and you will even reminisce about it for years to come.

Remember, the holidays can be a very exciting time for some people, but it can also be a difficult time for others. Many people in the LGBT community suffer from high levels of anxiety and depression during the holiday season, so please be mindful. If you know of someone who may be feeling a bit down, or lonely, make the extra effort to include them in your plans. A lot of us don’t have family close to us and may not be able to afford to travel home every year, so an invite to a Friendsgiving or potluck Christmas party can go a long way. It doesn’t cost anything to be kind to each other.

Joey Amato is the publisher of Frugayity, a personal finance advice website geared towards helping the LGBTQ community live a more frugal life and save for the future. Amato has been in LGBTQ media for over a decade, having published his own lifestyle magazine UNITE in Nashville and Indianapolis. He is also the publisher of Pride Journeys, a syndicated LGBTQ travel column and website. For more information, visit www.frugayity.com.

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september 2020

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