Coronavirus? Politics? Whether or not your Uncle Joe will ever get a job?
There are always some topics of conversation you would rather avoid at the family Thanksgiving table, and the past two years have thrown some doozies into the mix. This may be your first family holiday after an extended period of social distancing, so there could be some interesting developments. Holiday gatherings and family dynamics can be movie worthy, from comedies to downright horror shows. So, it might be helpful to do a little planning in advance to help keep the conversations positive and the mood festive.
Financial topics can be on the touchy side of some family dynamics, but this year there are many financial subjects you can amiably navigate. And some of these neutral zone areas might be just the right distraction from comments about Aunt Dotty’s third helping of yams.
Gratitude, it applies to finances as well
It is easy to get so caught up in the logistics of Thanksgiving that you forget to focus on what the holiday is all about. Thanksgiving is a natural time to count your blessings, and that includes being mindful of what you already have. Even if it is not your family tradition to have everyone go around the table and say what they are thankful for, you can quietly do this for yourself.
From a financial perspective, being grateful for what you already have can reduce stress, and allow you to avoid spending traps that come with the next day’s holiday, known as Black Friday. This is then quickly followed by Cyber Monday. A focus on gratitude can shift your attention to what you have rather than what you are lacking. It may also help you to commit to your long-term goals, focusing, for example, on the value and importance of saving to buy your first home or meeting your retirement savings goals.
Celebrate financial wins
Financial accomplishments are always worth celebrating, but they are especially sweet after the challenges of the last year and a half. While many Americans faced financial hardship during the pandemic, others were able to take advantage of a forced reduction in spending. Whatever you were able to accomplish, small or large, take a moment to recognize what you achieved. Maintaining employment, not getting behind in bills, refinancing a home … all are wins.
A year into the pandemic, more than half (53%) of Americans said that their financial situation had improved when …….