Tuesday 24 December 2019

Why I haven't done christmas this year

You may have guessed what this post is about from the title. You read right, I'm not doing Christmas this year for the first time since I can remember.

I made the hard decision that I wasn't going to buy presents for anyone this year early October, because I just don't physically have the money. If you've read my recent post you'll have read that I've struggled with money since I had my first job at 17. I've tried budgeting for Christmas and failed. No matter how small the budget I simply can't afford to spend money I don't have. I went round and spoke to my family members and apologetically said I can't buy any presents; and I don't want or need any either. As well as trying to get myself out of debt I don't want my friends and family to do the same, and I genuinely don't need anything except to spend Christmas with the people I love and eat hella lot of food.

As also mentioned in my last post I am grabbing every penny I can earn as humanely possible so I'll be missing out on a lot of festive activities to stay on track to get out of my overdraft by the end of January. I've been having to get used to saying "no" and turning down invitations which has triggered my FOMO big time. Luckily I'm not the only one of my friends in a similar situation which makes me feel less alone and ashamed. It's nice to have that sense of camaraderie when you're in a bad place.

Since having my revelation about my spending habits it's proved really difficult to not spend money in a variety of situations. Whether it's buying some lunch or dinner and getting carried away with sides and extras, or receiving emails and notifications of deals/discounts and only having a "quick" look and before you know it I've created a £170 basket of stuff I just don't need. If I walk anywhere near a shop it's like I can hear it calling me. I have to physically not even look at shops, or if I'm out with friends or family I'll say to them "don't let me buy anything, I don't need it" and generally it's worked. They'll help me talk myself out of a purchase which is so helpful because I can actually talk about it out loud, whereas on my own it's a bit harder to do that.

It sounds easy, to just not spend money but actually the world revolves around it. The constant incessant adverts drawing you in and telling you what you have to buy, scrolling through social media and seeing what your peers can afford and comparing yourself to them. I think that's been part of the turning point, seeing what others have and what I don't. I want to be able to share the good news of getting my own place with my other half and going on nice holidays to have quality time together (instead of over working just to get by).

I can't say that getting through this festive season not buying anything has been easy, it's been nice for my bank balance but so hard not to get anything for anyone. I have this permanent guilt that I can't give back to all of my friends and family, and especially since everyone has said they are getting me things, despite me clearly saying I really don't want anything. I appreciate that they want to get me presents, but I really don't need anything. I'm happy with nothing, especially struggling with squeezing into my boyfriends bedroom with all of the things I've already bought over the years. I really hate feeling claustrophobic by the things I own, I keep trying to have clear outs to feel less like I'm drowning in belongings - and I'm sure Connor would appreciate me being more minimalist as well!

By not getting involved in Christmas shopping it really has made me think about the season in a less commercial way, and I'm purely excited to just spend the day with my family and Connor's. I'm going to try and start saving for next Christmas so that it's less taxing on my bank account. I hope that wherever you are at in life that you don't feel like you have to get in debt to show your friends and family that you love them.

Merry Christmas x

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