Actress, writer and best-selling author (“Getting Waisted,” “OMG! How Children See God”) Monica Parker says while she and her husband were living their dreams in Tinseltown, she was also “living in a delusional life where things were really easy to grab onto and to have.”


“On one of my forays to pick up some basic kitchen necessities, I fell in love with a beautiful, huge painting in the gallery next door. It cost more than our already pricey rent so I walked away. It called me back. Throwing caution and common sense to the wind, it was soon hanging in our living room.”

After finally being inundated by bill collectors’ calls and red-lettered “Final Notice” letters delivered to the front door (then blindly shoved into her drawer of denial), Monica and her husband finally sat staring down the desk of a bankruptcy lawyer, their countless credit cards taken away, their credit destroyed.

It was the wake-up call she needed! “I had to grow up and face myself,” says Monica. “It was definitely about getting my act together.”

Those Post-Holiday Credit Card Bill Blues

Monica has written her book “Oops! I Forgot to Save Money” as a cautionary tale. She says it’s not a “How To” but a “Don’t Ever!” She offers a few pearls of wisdom for those trying to avoid that all-too-familiar sinking feeling that comes after looking at one’s post-holiday credit card bills:

  • Stop Living in Fantasyland. “Stop pretending that you have a ton of money. You don’t. Start becoming more conscious about your money, how it is finite, and how it might be more important to pay for meals than to buy a new PS5 for the kids.”
  • Prioritize What Is Important. Monica began making lists of what was really necessary and important in her life, what wasn’t, and where she was putting money, so she could begin to make better financial decisions. She says you can do the same with your holiday spending. “At the end of the day,” says Monica, “the most important thing is being with and reconnecting with friends and family. Your family truly wants you, not the trinkets you might be showing up with, so don’t think you have to go out of your way to buy expensive gifts for everyone. A tin of homemade cookies coming from the heart really does taste sweeter. You’re not Oprah — not everyone needs to get a car.”
  • Stay Away From “Buy Now, Pay Later” Plans. “Be careful not to get lured into the ‘Buy now, pay later’ offers. They are a potential financial sinkhole. The interest alone on those seductive loans will only make things worse.”
  • Indulge A Little… But Not TOO Much. “I’m not a Marie Kondo person. I think we should be allowed to indulge a little bit. But first ask yourself these questions: ‘Can we afford it? Will we come to regret it the morning after?’ It’s a little bit like eating too much cake: It could hurt!”