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Christmas on a Budget

In Lifestyle, Wealth by Sarah Hink

Separation and divorce are expensive. Many families struggle with money when intact, so imagine what happens when a couple separates. In order to get a divorce, a couple must live separate and apart for an entire year. This means an additional monthly rental payment and utilities, and other costs of living separately. After the dust settles, all issues have been resolved, and attorney’s fees have been paid, you may find yourself financially hurting. The holidays certainly don’t help you save money. There are parties, entertaining, meals to host, travel expenses, and the presents. So many presents. So with an understanding that financial ruin is not an option, keep the following thoughts in mind: Prepare yourself a budget. Look at your bank account and your savings, consider all of your recurring …

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Should Santa Put a Pet Under the Tree?

In Lifestyle by Beth Schulman

With the holidays right around the corner, everyone has gift-giving on the brain. Most will hit the mall or shop online for more traditional gifts, but some of you may be considering giving someone on your list a pet. Or if your family dynamic has recently changed due to situations such as separation, divorce, children moving out, etc., you may be considering getting a pet for yourself. The idea of giving a pet as a gift has a certain appeal to it. Studies have shown having a pet has all sorts of benefits, both mentally and physically. Who wouldn’t want to do that for someone they love or as an unconditional source of companionship? While the “gifter” always has good intentions, there can be unplanned consequences for the “giftee.” There …

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Newly Separated or Divorced? Don’t Let Money Woes Dampen your Ho Ho Ho

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

I remember my first “newly separated” holidays.  I had a young son and felt sad and alone facing the holidays knowing the “we” traditions were a thing of the past.  Add to that my new one income household and I just wanted the new year to come and skip the holidays.  But, I also wanted to make the holidays special for my son. I was feeling guilty for the breakup of my family.  But looking back at that first holiday 10 years ago, I know that we built new traditions and my son survived and continues to thrive.  We didn’t have lots of presents, like Christmases before, but I have such special memories of setting up blankets, having a fire, making smores and watching the Polar Express and The Grinch …