Hold The Phone—We’re Not Saying Don’t Give Gifts!
Are you in debt? How much do you and your wife spend on Christmas presents every year? Is it $1,000? $2,000? $3,000? The Australian national average is $475 per person or $950 for a couple. That’s $9k to $11k in ten years’ time. How much are you in debt for? If you’ve got $15 you owe, wouldn’t it be better to find a way around over-spending on gifts every Christmas?
As it turns out, overspending on gifts can really undermine you, and it isn’t chiefly necessary. How old are your young ones, and how do they respond to what you give them? They go crazy for a few hours, play with new toys madly for a few days or a few weeks, then utterly forget about them. Just like you did as a young child.
So here’s the question: why are you spending thousands of dollars on those gifts every year? You’re depriving them and yourself from necessary strength establishment for no good reason. A better idea is to hone-in your gift-giving strategy, and find ways of making a commodity out of things like spending time with one another.
As an example, consider where you live. Are you in a southern climate where no snow falls during Christmas? Here’s a fine secret: lodgings where it does snow are pretty affordable. Maybe instead of buying gifts this year, you take you and your family on a holiday vacation! Weigh the costs.
If you’ve got two kids under ten and a spouse, and 25 miles per gallon on a 220-gallon tank, that’s a 500-mile range on one fill-up. At $3 per gallon, you’re looking at a $120 round-trip. For four nights at $100 or less per, your total travel and living expenses come to $520.
If you have a food allowance of $100 per day, then for $920 you can spend four nights on the road with your family, save money on gifts, and spend some real quality time somewhere you’ve never been before; all while saving $480 off average annual spending on presents.
Use the $100 daily allowance to buy candies and things the young ones will love, and just have fun with them. Go sledding—you can pick a few cheap plastic ones up for around $10 a pop and wrap them. Maybe go hiking on a snowy mountain, or build snowmen. The gift here is quality time!
If you’re already in a cold locality, maybe the family has as its Christmas gift a trip to a ski lodge for a day, or perhaps you escape the cold and hang out at the beaches of South Carolina or Florida for a week. If you’re from the north, the cold of the Atlantic in December feels about like a reservoir of mountain water in Summer, provide the day isn’t cloudy.
Thoughtful Gifts That Are Inexpensive
If travel is off the table, you can focus on decreasing the cost of your spending by buying more thoughtful gifts which cost less. Figure out what interests your children have and play to those interests. Perhaps their love of video games has more to do with imagination and color than it does with the technology itself.
A sketchbook, high-dollar stencils, markers, scissors, and tracing apparatuses can be cheap and not feel cheap to your child. If they’re into music, what about a harmonica? Harmonicas are generally inexpensive, and a to a degree consumable. Many small wind-based instruments are, and there are always deals on used instruments through flea markets and the like.
Reducing Christmas Expenses As Necessary
Look at what you’re spending on Christmas presents now, and find a way to cut down those costs. You’re in debt, and letting sentimentality increase that debt on an annual basis will not help you or your family. Still, saving money does not mean restricting fun. It just means you’ll have to make the gift of your time more palpable, and shift focus.