Add “family guilt trips” to the list of things that a lot of us have to deal with this time of year

Yes, it sounds like you’re making a very good effort already to appear at such things. No, your sis doesn’t have the right to command that everyone drop everything for every one of her kids’ events. Particularly since she already said it’s not a big deal if folks missed it. Even if she tried to command it, that’s her little fantasy, not your marching orders.
Family will try to require us to do all sorts of things, because they figure they can. It’s taken several years and a lot of practice of saying “no”, before my saying “no” to my family was taken seriously. It’ll take time with yours, and no they won’t like it. They may call you all sorts of names (my personal favorite was ‘failure as a human being’). But stick to your plans and your priorities; they can’t tell you what your priorities should be. We can only do so much.

I just did one of those “guilt” things back in Dec

Let’s just say, I won’t be doing that again. Flew fro FL to IN for my niece’s wedding. What a total fiasco.

Shared a rental car to my sister’s from the hotel with other siblings, got left there–my driver was tired, her brothers bored, so we had to wait for her father to be ready to leave.

My sister was there–haven’t had a relationship with her in over 21 yrs due to not wanting illegal drugs/dealers near my kids.

No wedding license so no Catholic wedding. Moved to a park, near an airport, rocket club doing their thing, and it started to rain.

Reception food looked like last week’s leftovers and was gross. In one corner we had the groom’s cougar mom and in the other corner we had his “I don’t want to be a part of this” father.

Flight home, someone ignored the “no peanuts on this flight” and I went into anaphylaxis 10 min into the flight.

Yeah, no more guilt trips for me—BTW, those were just a few of the highlights of the weekend.

No you are not being unreasonable

Look at it this way, if they were events you would give a gift for you could send a slightly nicer gift they would truly enjoy rather than just a token gift and still come out better off in your own personal finances.

Let’s be truthful, on such type of events how much time would you actually be able to spend with the honoree? It would be far better to say send a gift when appropriate and then the next time your budget and time allow go and spend special time with the honoree(s) away from the rest of the family and tell them you want to do so because you were unable to come to the…fill in the blank.

Family is important, but how much will the trip mean to you or them if you are going to be going backwards in your financial goals to do it? If you are resenting the money being spent at that time you might not be the best of company.

Last year we spent Thanksgiving with ds via Skype. We were traveling for dh’s job and ds was home. So we fixed our meals to be eaten at the same time and added computers to our tables and had a good Thanksgiving together even though he was in OK and we were at the Petrified Forest campground. Surely someone there would video tape, or take snapshots for you. Or perhaps you could skype with the honoree the night before or so.


So like I said, I’ve been ignoring the plastic people callers. What did we do without caller id?

Anyway, today I decided to look at all the creditors and see how bad the landscape was. Honestly? For being 60-90 days out on most of them, it doesn’t look nearly as bad as I thought it would be, so (cash advance online) made me an offer in writing that if I paid $38 by Dec 24 it would stop all further collection efforts, past due fees etc. They are actually what made me decide to look at EVERYONE to get a handle on whether I could make a similar arrangement.

Anyway. So this morning I took them up on it, and I am actually answering my calls from plastic people today.

I just took one from (the same) Capital One people. Evidently, they don’t look at their notes before they call. I answer all cheery, which threw her off. Then I asked her if she was calling on account X or account Y (I have 2 with them because they bought out the original companies.) She’s like, well I have to tell you (blah blah blah).

it turns out it’s the same account I made the payment arrangement with. So I said, Well, you’re a little late, because I made a PA earlier today to pay you $38 on 12/24. She’s like, oh. Silence. Let me look at your file. Oh. I see that now. Silence. Well, um, did they tell you your account status (yes.) Oh. Silence. Well, then I guess that’s it. You have a good holiday.

I’d say that you’re doing QUITE well

I can see making an effort to attend events for parents/siblings. But nieces/cousins? Not unless they’re happening in the same town you’re already in…
But that’s easy for ME to say – I’m an only child, so I will NEVER have to take a trip for a niece’s graduation/wedding…

What is it called? Jubilee?

When you take a moment to buy something you normally would not, I don’t think there is anything wrong with doing this one day of the year. If you’re a spender like I am, I get immense joy of spending just once without thinking about it.
I try not to have a day or occasion to have my jubilee, just a random day.
Around the holiday’s I get up one morning and have a t-bone steak and egg breakfast at Waffle House and leave a crisp 100 dollar bill for my waitress. That felt better than doing for myself and I still was able to spend. I’ve done the same test driving a car, and just giving my salesperson 100 dollars for their time. This year I heard about Layaway angels, and wished I had the thought first. I’ll try to be proactive next year.
Yes its counterproductive to the Dave Ramsey program, but I’ll be the first to admit, I like spending money.

I’m painfully familiar with burnout

I’ve had it once in awhile with being on the DR plan, but for me it comes up most frequently with the farming work I do. I almost always get it this time of year in fact. I’m fed up with all the myriad little things that I need to pay attention to. I’m tired of the long list of things to be fixed, or replaced, or sourced, or otherwise dealt with. I’m tired of having to suit up and go outside 3x/day and run through 2.5hrs of work that can’t be put off even if it’s raining hard or freezing hard or blowing hard (or some combination). But I’ve done this long enough, that I know a few tricks which maybe will help you out.
First, remind me again where you are? If you’re north of the Mason/Dixon line (the northern ½ of the country), you’re probably in vitamin D deficiency by now. You may also be short on Bcomplex. Starting to supplement those can really turn the mood around, and the energy levels too. Might not seem related to being tired of Murphy per se. But when either or both of those nutrients are lacking, we don’t deal well with stress from any source. I noticed an almost immediate improvement when I started to supplement with Vit D and BComplex in 2011. Now I won’t go without ‘em. There’s even a line item on our budget for vitamins. It’s that important.
Second, recognize that SAD is real. This time of year has so many stressors from environmental, cultural and economic sources, that it’s very easy to get overwhelmed. The “last straw” at any given time might get the blame for our Grinch moments, but just know that many folks (most????) will have some kind of meltdown this time of year, fairly predictably. So even if Murphy hadn’t been for a visit, some other stressor would have “gotten under the skin” and put you into a burned out mood. The vitamins listed above are helpful anytime of year, but particularly now. BComplex in particular helps our body deal with stress, such that yea stressful things happen, but we “take it in stride” a little easier.
Third, have you given yourself any breaks lately? Any personal time? This time of year, it’s go-go-go and generally for someone else’s agenda. Sure that agenda might be fine and wonderful and beneficial and save-the-world. But if we’re burning our candle at both ends, no matter how worthy the cause, we’re gonna burn out at some point.
Giving yourself a break, in whatever form(s) appeals to you, is the ticket. For me, by gosh I want a Christmas vacation. That comes after many years of Type-A “let’s work until we fall down” nonsense over the holiday break. I don’t need to go anywhere, and I’ll still need to do morning/afternoon/night chores. Blech. But I’m going to spend my days on the couch, watching movies, reading books, drinking another cuppa of something hot and sweet, and generally practicing my very best Lazy Kath routine. That re-energizes me. Whatever re-energizes you would be good right now. A walk through a year-round greenhouse, or museums, or visiting with old friends just cuz, or get that book you’ve been wanting and clear the schedule and stay up all night reading just because you can. Whatever works.
Very few of our problems and issues need to be dealt with RIGHT NOW. Most of them can wait, even a few hours. Give yourself permission to go do something for yourself, content in the knowledge that yes that to-do list will still be there when you get back. And please know that you’re in a LOT of good company. If you find yourself still in the Holiday Doldrums and you see someone off in the distance wearing faded blue jeans, Tshirt and Univ of Colorado sweatshirt, dirty shearling jean jacket and a ballcap, with long tangled hair poking out at all angles, waving at you, that’ll be me.

Dh got home from work about 2 pm yesterday

Fridays are his half days and immediately went to work on finishing his repair of the heat pump. It’s amazing what you can do with the lid from a steel burn barrel LOL!
He finished about 4 and we got our “party clothes” on to go to the company dinner party, leaving about 4:30 pm. It was barely misting when we stepped out on the porch but by the time we reached the Y of our driveway (a short distance those who have been here can tell you) our windshield had completely iced over. Basically we went from “not a problem” to “let’s rethink this idea” in less than two minutes. By the time we were ½ mile toward the highway we had rethought the evening out and u turned going back home for chicken fried steaks and safety for dinner.
Our theory was a free meal on the company and $30 worth of free gambling money wasn’t worth a possible broken hip or worse.
We stayed up late catching up on dvr’d movies and just as we were rousting out to take care of the critters at 7 this morning the power went down. NAP TIME!
The guys opted for peanut butter and crackers for lunch about noon and I hit the kitchen to make me a pb&j about 30 minutes later. That’s when the power came back on—quick menu change for me. A hot toasted turkey and gouda sandwich on rye. Yummy!
I’m checking emails and doing all sorts of electronic items at once right now because the power keeps fluttering and they are predicting more of this nasty stuff. So better to get everything done I can while I can.
We’ve got several branches down due to the ice, yet the ground doesn’t seem frozen and neither were the goose waterers, weird. I guess it’s because we use black tubs for the geese and they’ve been bathing all morning in it.

You already pretty much know how our week went

Disappointment that we have to wait an extra month for the first ss check. Joy that it will be larger each month than we thought.

Dh fixed the furnace just one hour before our latest ice storm hit It’s running great considering our decks are still slicker than glass and I won’t gather firewood to burn off of slick porches.

Ms Faith the Duck has decided that while it’s cold she’s staying near the house under the back deck. So at least we know she is safe.

The new family is a cousin of dh’s, well a cousin’s kid. She contacted me about the family genealogy and we’ve been chatting for a few days now. She is seriously addicted to playing with dead people and tends to think outside the box in her research like I do. So our conversations have been lively. She’s rekindled my interest in knocking down some more brick walls so now I am hoping will run their usual holiday special of free access this holiday season.

We have extensive tree damage from the most recent ice storm. ½ of our circular driveway is completely blocked, which makes getting the trucks out interesting to say the least. The strange thing with this ice storm is there is over ½ an inch of ice on all the things up in the air like trees, but the ground is a sodden mess and not frozen at all.

That means we can get out to go to town IF we can safely get down off the porch! That in itself is an adventure in ice skating!

Once we have another freakish warm spell the guys will clear the driveway again, but it could be awhile looking at the forecast.

Tree is up, presents (for the most part) are wrapped, meat for the meal is doing a slow thaw and I had plans to spend the day baking cookies but the dear cousin (dc) has kept me on the computer all morning.

I just talked to dh and since they are pushing both the guys to take some accumulated vacation time and over ½ of the office is already out on vacation he and ds are thinking about coming home early. I wouldn’t mind that at all.

Similar to time4learning in approach

short video snippets, chapter quizzes and chapter tests
Also preps your high schooler for the CLEP tests etc. Don’t freak out by the College course and AP course landing page (which is their “front” page). Go up to the top left side, click on GED and High School courses.
You can choose either to view by subject or by “high school”. It’s honestly a little confusing by “high school” IMO. And don’t freak out when you see “Common Core-ELA” under the High school tab section. Oddly, it is only offered under that tab, and is a separate class from say, 9th grade english or the english literature sections.

In this situation I agree to go ahead and put it all in

The op has a lump sum to put in. dh and I have done the same on occasion when we had a lump sum available. This is how we usually do our IRAs each year and we always max them out each year.

We also have set up a monthly withdrawal to fund non-retirement mutual funds. It is a set amount and we never “miss” it since it is done automatically. Right now we are putting $600/month away in this manner, spread out over several funds. This allows us to take part in the dollar cost averaging that Jeff has mentioned.

One thing I would add is this. If someone does not have a large lump sum to invest, don’t wait till you do. Go ahead and invest what you have … whether it’s $50/month, $20/week, a tax refund, a bonus, or quarterly safety award, etc. Just do something.