Color of Money: Being debt-free for the holidays is a feeling you can't buy in a store

Michelle Singletary on

The wife is a super giver, so the holiday season is nirvana for her. A few months ago, my husband and I put the couple on a plan to get out of debt. Well, she was having a panic attack on Black Friday. She and her husband got into a heated argument over what she wanted to spend for people on their list.

"I'm spiraling out of control," she texted me. "I'm not sure I'm going to make it. I literally feel sick. I NEVER had a limit when it came to this time of the year. I'm not sure I know how to budget for Christmas."

I immediately called and talked her down. Then I said, "You better not be getting me anything."


"How did you know?" she asked.

"I know you," I said.

Sure enough, she had added me to her list. And she had planned to get me a pair of the trendy Ugg boots. She had a coupon.

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Just hearing that she was thinking of me and had remembered the boot story was gift enough for me.

And knowing that she and her husband are staying on the path to becoming debt-free? Priceless.


Readers can write to Michelle Singletary c/o The Washington Post, 1301 K St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20071. Her email address is Follow her on Twitter (@SingletaryM) or Facebook ( Comments and questions are welcome, but due to the volume of mail, personal responses may not be possible. Please also note comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer's name, unless a specific request to do otherwise is indicated.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group



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