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Real Life On A Budget

The One Word That Could Change Everything

No.

Say it with me: “No.”

Say it again, loud and proud: “No.”

Great job. Here’s my point: I want you to remember the word no this holiday season. I want you to practice and get comfortable saying it.

Why? This single word can provide more freedom for you this year than any other word. Because, no matter what you believe or what you’ve done in the past, saying no can make this your best holiday season ever.

This is especially true for those of you who are on a budget, getting out of debt, and working through a difficult money situation. You need to learn the word no more than anyone.

When you’re on a tight budget, you should never feel obligated to:

  • Participate in gift exchanges.
  • Host a party.
  • Spend a lot of money on an office lunch.
  • Travel a long way to be with family.
  • Buy expensive gifts for your kids (or spouse).

During November and December, we tend to feel a lot of pressure to live outside our means. But it’s okay to say no. I promise!

So I know what you’re thinking: But how can I say no without hurting someone’s feelings?

I get that. You don’t want to upset your parents by refusing to travel to California. And you don’t want your coworkers to think you’re cheap for not taking part in the office’s white elephant party.

A simple “I’m trying to get out of debt and just can’t do that this year” is fine. Or if you want to be less specific, simply say, “I’m sorry, but I just can’t this year.”

You have to do what’s best for you and your family. You can’t let emotions like guilt or peer pressure influence your decision-making.

Remember, it’s behavior that got you in debt in the first place. Discipline will get you out, but you have to stand strong when you feel weak—especially during the holiday season when everyone and every store is trying to influence how you spend your hard-earned money.

Don’t let all the festivities of the Christmas season ruin your budget. Remember that all-important word, and say it again with me one more time: “No!”