Budgeting and planning ahead are key for columnist Amy Gietzen
It’s beginning to look an awful lot like the holidays! Everywhere I go I see festive decor and signs for holiday sales. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to hear ”Jingle Bells” and ”White Christmas” on the radio in November.
The hustle and bustle of the season often brings long lines, high-calorie meals, delicious desserts, and, most importantly, the exchanging of gifts. I love the tradition of gift-giving and the smiles it brings to the faces of my close friends and loved ones. Seeing the excitement that glows on my niece’s face as she tears through sparkling paper and ribbons is priceless.
However, what’s hard for me is the cost of those lovely gifts. I always wonder how I will survive the holidays and afford presents on my income.
I have been on a fixed income since 2005, when scleroderma progression made it too hard for me to continue working full time. I had to quit my job and apply for Social Security Disability Insurance.
As you can probably imagine, it is extremely hard to budget for bills and other costs of daily living with a limited amount of money. When I add in holidays, birthdays, weddings, baby showers, anniversaries, and all of those enjoyable but pricy celebrations, I often find myself scraping by, struggling to put fuel in my car and food in my fridge. As much as I love all the glitz and glam that comes with the holiday season, my pocketbook does not reciprocate those sentiments.
Living with scleroderma makes it very difficult to splurge. The cost of medications, tests, doctor appointments, and surgical procedures doesn’t leave me much spending money. But not buying my loved ones gifts to open on Christmas last year left me feeling like Ebenezer Scrooge.
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Scleroderma Queensland Support Group