Beating the broke days and finding time to bond

Weddings, engagements, introductions, food, clothing, travel the list goes on. Consider each a sinkhole through which your income can be siphoned off in these two months.

Any one of them, unless managed cautiously could potentially be the reason you sit out January, on the side-lines, unable to pursue any endeavour due to empty pockets. This is the month that comes with the tag, “proceed with caution” as it has already started exhibiting all the hallmarks for which it is famously known for – the break-up month.

Eugene Kalungi, a psychologist, gives a couple of tips to help you, not only preserve your relationship but also enhance it over this tumultuous period.

1. Communicate
This is the single most important element in this period. It is essential that your partner knows your financial standing. This is no time to propagate facades over imaginary wealth for ultimately, they will know. If you are broke, let them know so that both of you can work out a means of getting through this period together without incident. But all that can only happen if you communicate, talk to each other often, honestly and faithfully.

2. Prepare before hand
Planning ahead is the most important thing. It is not too late to identify the events that interest both of you and in whose attendance you would delight and mark out their dates. Once that is done, it is vital you interface with each other on what you would require over that time in terms of resources to cover those events, or even clothing and start working towards ensuring they are in place. Save for them and also spend wisely.

3. Do not over book yourselves
The temptation to hop onto every bus that comes along – I am talking about parties and events – can be quite overwhelming during this period. It even becomes harder to say no to the invites and phone calls. Some partners are party ‘animals’ and that could pose a serious strain upon one’s finances since with each event, costs are incurred on things like gifts, clothing, alcohol and transport. It is imperative that whatever number of events both of you decide to embark on, are within your means.

4. Create your own Christmas tradition
Think about what you like about your partner. How can you show them you care? How would you like them to show you that you are appreciated? Can you think of ways you might convey this to them?
You may find reflecting on the relationships you enjoy and how to make more of them may be a helpful focus to avoid stressing over the Christmas holidays. So you will find yourself thinking more about nurturing those around you who can also give you love and support. Both of you will find happiness in whatever you choose to anchor your holidays.

5. Switch off the distractions
So phone applications like Whatsapp and entities like the Facebook have proven that they have the capacity to run and take over our relationships. That for a fact is undisputable, but avoidable.
This festive season, put all phones on silent, switch the TV off and light some candles, cook something easy or have a take-away. This is your time to bond.

6. Do things together
It could be helping out – or visiting – someone, for whatever reason. Giving ‘time’ can be more valuable than any present at any price. If you can really commit to it, you will gain tremendously yourself by cheering up each other. If you do it with a sulky attitude though, it is just going to feel like hard work. Lovingly helping someone else will also take the focus off your own troubles for a while.

7. Expect failure
If today your partner (or someone else) has not fulfilled their task, for example, a gift they promised, whatever you do – do not go on about it! It is not worth a row, at least not at that time. Lower all your expectations and be grateful for whatever it is that is good and goes well. Make a point of looking out for those things.

It is very likely you are going to ‘fail’ in at least someone’s eyes, if not your own. Oh well you and everyone else will recover! Just agree that, whatever happens, the two of you are going to make Christmas the best you can manage. Nothing is perfect. Both of you should know that by now, so if any of you falter along the way, and are unable to meet your financial obligations, point no fingers. Pull each other up and move on.

Finally, plan for the two of you to spend some quality time together as often as possible. That might be with ‘an early night’, a stroll to the park, a midnight feast, an early morning start. It will help to ‘anchor’ you and your relationship and give you time to discuss and problem-solve any potential issues. Happy Christmas.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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