Expensive months of giving!
July is a busy month for me in terms of birthdays – mum, dad and sister all have birthdays this month, and this is EXPENSIVE! Gifts, cards, wrapping and eating out all add up. I’m sure you have months like this too.
For the first time ever though, I actually had money saved especially for this. It was £300 – £100 per person roughly. I thought this was pretty reasonable and I was really proud of myself for having money available to do this. Trust me, this is a massive breakthrough for me!
If you’re laughing because this is something you never have issue with, I’m so impressed with your organisation! That’s such a brilliant skill to have, and one that not everyone has.
Giving too much?
My boyfriend was shocked when I told him how much I had spent. He thought it was far too much. He has a completely different view when it comes to gift giving. We’re moved into a new house recently, and we still have a lot of things to buy, so his reasoning was that I shouldn’t be spending too much on unnecessary things like presents. Its safe to say that he doesn’t tend to overspend on anything! I often do when it comes to other people and buying gifts.
Could it be guilt?
Gift giving patterns can often be a sign of something else going on underneath. For example, do you ever feel guilty when it comes to buying gifts? Maybe because you don’t see the person enough, or you’re always working so you buy the kids treats on the way home all the time to “make up for it”.
I noticed a lot of guilt in my own gift giving – I often OVER give because I feel like only giving someone one thing, or just a small thing isn’t good enough. I don’t enjoy feeling like I’m being cheap (especially with family) or stingy, so I give more than is probably necessary and deprive myself to balance this out in the meantime. I’m now trying to be conscious of how much I spend, and telling myself its ok to only give a card sometimes (like for wedding anniversaries), especially with Christmas coming up.
Remember what they say on planes – put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others. I.e. if you don’t have enough for yourself, don’t give what you do have away to others first – even your kids.
Christmas is another expensive time for everyone in general. You have gift buying, tree dressing, extra food and apparently everyone is also in need of a new sofa or table if the furniture adverts are to be believed. I didn’t always have cash ready for Christmas because I was usually in denial about it coming. 1st of December came around (like it does every year amazingly) and I used to have a mad scramble for the money to pay for gifts (or use a credit card).
January is then ALWAYS a loooooooooooong month, because not only did I overspend and run out of money before the next payday, but I was always miserable in January because nothing fun was going on (not that I could have afforded to go out anyway!). I think January blues is quite common on a universal level, but not having money and paying back credit cards makes it even worse.
How do you deal for present buying?
So what are your unspoken gift rules? Are you an over-spender or do you have a good balance? Do you go into debt to buy gifts – Christmas especially? If you’re serious about improving your money situation (and as you’re reading this, I’m guessing you are!), then what can you do around this area? Can you start a savings plan for Christmas now, so you wages last through until January payday. Think how good that will be! Can you halve the amounts you spend on people? This is what I’ll be doing this Christmas so that I’m not tempted back into credit card spending. I have a post on setting aside money for giving to others in your budget every month.
I’d love to hear what you do – feel free to come over to my new facebook group and share!
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Until next time,
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