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Gifts, Anyway Budget

How does that title make sense? I figure we have our “anyway budget.” The money we spend on our kids’ craft supplies, for example, is “anyway money.”

This is # 9 of 10 Ways to Save!

In our family, birthdays and Christmas are both coming up. I don’t feel the need to buy my girls things they wouldn’t get anyway. I mean, this is America. Goodness knows they have enough toys to fuel 3 garage sales. And they always play with the same things! So, toys are out. I plan to purchase things I would get them anyway, like craft supplies, educational things like musical instruments (if I find a good deal on ebay!), girly snow boots, and  hair accessories. I know they will be thrilled! My gift list for them is planned out, knowing they will love it, and it will all be put to good use–not thrown in a corner and forgotten the next day.

My husband and I are a little more high-maintenance, I’m afraid. We want expensive things. Well, if I get my expensive gift, it will be something I’ve been wanting for the last 3 years, and it will be a combination of birthday-Christmas-anniversary. Was I going to buy it anyway when I had the cash? Yes. Is it useful? Yes! The same is true for my husband’s gift. There, it is justified.

For my family and friends, I plan to give anyway gifts like baked goods on a pretty plate from the thrift store, craft items I make myself like hankies wrapped in a pretty bow and placed in an artistic clay pot, and for my close girly friends–maybe even an accessory of mine they have previously admired as a bonus gift. These are all anyway gifts. We feed our friends and family anyway; we make crafts or have some kind of hobby anyway; and we downsize our closets (even things we like, for a close pal!) anyway!

Not everyone needs a gift. Schmoozing the boss might help you out if you want to bring in some hot chocolate and homebaked cookies, or maybe just a card. Bosses tend to get really stressed around the holidays, and it might make your life easier if he/she gets a moment to relax and enjoy your gift. Teachers, babysitters, pastors, (those who offer a service that don’t get paid a ton) deserve a little something-something. Again, I don’t think it needs to be expensive. But a gesture that you care goes a long way. For groups of people and extended family, it is good to draw names, which takes the pressure off everybody. If someone has not already organized parameters for a gift exchange, then step up and be a leader!

Gift wrap need not be a cost factor. I’m a fan of buying a roll of Easter basket plastic wrap post-season for $0.25 each, and using a square of that and piece of leftover ribbon from last Christmas to wrap a plate of cookies. Or I might make my own gift bags, as you have seen in a previous post! I might use “wrapping paper” consisting of beautiful drawings from my daughters. Once I scored a box of old Christmas wrap in the attic, which has lasted me several years. For a good laugh I might even wrap someone’s gift in newspaper. Tape? Yes, you will probably need to buy that, unless you are very creative with string or recycled ribbon.

Honestly, I think we obsess way to much over the wrapping. People don’t care how much you spend, they care that you care.

Yes, I will occasionally pay full “gift price” especially for gift registries, and when I’m surprised by a birthday! (Funny how they sneak up on you every year.)

Food for thought.

Cheers,

Western Woman 😉

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About westernwoman

"To find adventure where it exists, and create it where it does not." This applies to the love relationship with Jesus, stewardship of finances, family, and decluttering the home! Rejoice in the day-to-day. My purpose is to empower women in their daily joys and challenges. My message to women everywhere is, "Smell the flowers and drink your coffee." Cheers, Western Woman

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