By: Charlene Fadirepo
My family and I decided to break from our typical tradition of heading home to Hampton,VA for the holiday. Instead we decided to rent a house in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. Driving 6 hours baby in tow from Maryland to North Carolina seemed like a pain. Not only did we have to pack clothes etc for a week, we also had to pack the food and ingredients to cook a dinner for 13 hungry family members. I grumbled quite a bit when as I packed our baby-mobile full of stuff and groaned even more as the journey dragged on into the night. We arrived at 1 am on Tuesday morning and we all fell asleep as soon as we got our stuff in the house.
Tuesday and Wednesday was spent prepping, chopping, shopping and cooking to get ready for our holiday meal. We were all in a different place –but the stress of the holiday was familiar. My sisters and I argued over petty things as usual. Tempers flared and the differences in our “management styles” became apparent. Finally the big meal came, it was a success, and we all heaved a huge sigh of relief. At least now, we could relax and really enjoy how stunningly beautiful it was to have our Thanksgiving meal in a palatial house on the ocean.
And now that I think about it–even though I was grumbling about getting here and ready at every turn with a snarky comment– this trip was exactly what I needed for Thanksgiving. Getting away, helped to bring me back to where I needed to be. This Thanksgiving, I almost “missed my happy” by being tied to what we had done in the past. And it wasn’t that I didn’t want to come to the Outer Banks –it was just that making the adjustment was uncomfortable and inconvenient. I began to think of the traditions in my family’s life that might be in need of a refresh.
What about you, what family financial traditions or practices do you have in your family–that might require a change? Do you always handle the money? Or does your husband always take care of the bills? When do you set aside dedicated time to discuss the family’s financial goals and plans? If you don’t already spend at least some time each month reviewing/discussing or analyzing your finances –you should start asap. Start off small — especially if you are new to this idea –for the first few reviews don’t spend more than 15 minutes. Just try to get used to the habit of “following your money”.
Perhaps a fresh new approach to your money, will help bring back your happy into your finances. My hubby and I were able to use some of the travel time to NC to discuss/confirm our remaining financial goals for the end of the year. We talked about the charities we planned to contribute to by year end as well our next big debt goal —-paying of the balance for our newest car, the “baby-mobile”, which we purchased in June when my son turned 1.
New practices and techniques for managing your money can be far from comfortable. But with the right discipline and a can-do attitude, you will definitely be able to bring back the happy in your finances.