A gift is a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present.
I love giving gifts just because...perhaps it is one of my love languages. As I type, I realize I haven't included this language and it never comes up but it is one that I enjoy when called upon. That is the difference! We possess every one of the Love Languages, but we employ some at specified times and not all times. Ok, enough of that little lightbulb moment. Back to this blog; how can I save money when giving gifts? Let's be honest, we know a lot of people, we have a big family, we have a healthy relationship with some acquaintances even colleagues, so we feel pressure to give materially. It can be embarrassing to be the only one not giving, even if we really don't want to give. However, let us return to the definition above. A gift is given WILLINGLY. So if you feel obligated to buy a present, is it really a gift?
A gift does not have to be material
One thing we should all cherish and appreciate more, now, is how precious time and our very lives are. We are irreplaceable and life can be taken unexpectantly. The moments we give to each other in spending quality time, a conversation, regular loving text messages and expressions of love and appreciation are priceless. Experiences together last a life time, material gifts have a shelf life in the shops, our homes and hearts. So when you consider gift giving, why not consider opportunities to spend quality time. Consider gifting experiences or creating an experience. Creating a calming, safe space for our loved ones are moments we can all cherish. Giving of our undivided attention is matchless to a new gadget, bag or something else physical.
Yea, I know, we all like a gift. Me included.
So how can we manage our finances better when giving gifts? Here are some tips I have come across and implemented for myself:
1. Start early and plan - You can make more mindful and less expensive choices when you give yourself enough time to give a gift.
2. Align your gift-shopping with your values - should they be physical gifts? Experiences? Are you being kind to yourself in overextending yourself financially or mentally?
3. SET THAT BUDGET and stick to it - if you don't have a budget, a well thought out card is enough. Let your loved ones know how you really feel. Try your hand at a Haiku or short poem.
4. Let your giftees know you’re doing something different this year - Maybe you are not going to be buying gifts at all. Let them all know. You have a plan you are working on and gifts just don't fit into it this time. THAT IS OK!
5. Is this person someone in your life who should receive a gift? - Some people don't deserve or require a gift because you just don't have that relationship. Would your gift be appreciated and cherished? If not, why spend that money? I hope this has been helpful. Remember, gifts are not just material items. A gift is something you give willingly. They can include time, expressions of love and appreciation and experiences.
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