Cramming in 20 end-of-year meetings and events, deciding what to spend on in-laws, kids, charities and (oops!) each other—why do the holidays bring on a firestorm of financial tension?
“Money gets wrapped up with all of the typical holiday stresses,” says Mary Claire Allvine, co-author of The Family CFO: The Couple’s Business Plan for Love and Money.
To keep the season bright, not bitter, tap your skills for managing testy co-workers and dire office deadlines:
- Put it on the calendar. Set a time to review holiday expectations and goals clearly with your mate (i.e. you’ll shop for his family, but he has to organize your holiday open house). Hint: Due dates help.
- Think politically. Is it that you can’t afford to give your brother-in-law a True Religion Buddha Beanie, or are you frustrated because your husband always wants to spend more on his family?
- Analyze tensions. Consider what’s really bothering you, Allvine advises. You and your partner’s family traditions may differ not only culturally, but financially. Create a joint plan that you can both live with.