The Stewards recently did a fantastic and timely post on how to accept gifts graciously. A family member has shared what she’s spending on ML and I immediately felt like we’re not spending enough on her. My instinct was to go out and buy her a load of other things.
This year I’ve found myself counting more than I should and even set a bad example for my brother as he spent $50 on me so I made sure to spend $50 on him. His takeaway lesson was spend all the money…not what I was going for.
This is where the Stewards post and a conversation with ML helped steer me back on track. The Stewards reminded me that I should treat my gift giving just as graciously as I accept gifts. ML reminded me of how much thought I put into my gifts. I’ve adjusted that August list based on things people have requested so it’s no longer a true representation of what people received.
For me frugal gift giving means presenting things that people will enjoy without going into debt. My feelings of guilt come from the supposition that people who make less than us are spending more on us than we are spending on them. Now I have no proof of this and based on previous gift exchanges it seems that we all end up giving thoughtful and deeply appreciated gifts.
Now that I’ve worked that bit out I finally feel comfortable assessing my budget. I’ve been a bit terrified to look at it since my desire to buy any and everything has been at war with my desire to end the year in good financial standing without having to take money from my savings lines.
I’ve just gone through my budget and since I’ve completed my gift shopping I can say with a fair amount of certainty that if I behave myself for the next two weeks I shall be just dandy. My usual buffer has been eaten up by presents.
I opted to use my buffer and only top up from my dwindling gift line if necessary. This worked well as it gave me a lot of gift spending money. In the end I only had to dip into the gift line a bit so if any gift giving activities pop up in the January I won’t be left scrambling.