Monday, May 18, 2009

Money Monday - Giving gifts

So, it's the end of the month again - and I always put myself up against the ropes on the food budget.

I recently went to Aldi's and was very impressed with their prices! I'm going to need to make a stop there soon.

We have SO MANY weddings and showers and parties and birthdays and holidays in May and June. Can I just say HOLY COW??!! It's so easy to drop $200 and STILL look cheap.

So, what do you do when you're trying to put yourself on a strict budget but people you love are getting married or graduating or celebrating birthdays??

I've been REALLY struggling with this lately. I don't want people to determine my appreciation and love for them by how much I spend on their gift! So here are some things I remind myself when everyone else's gifts cost more money.

1. I'M IN DEBT - Even though we may have an acceptable income monthly - I owe the college loan and mortgage loan people money. It's money that's been used up five years ago. And - if I don't get rid of them - GOD FORBID SOMETHING HAPPENS - I'm still going to owe them money. They will not care if I had a birthday party to go to. 

I don't like owing people money. I can't stand it - so it has to be number one priority for the finances after tithing and the major bills are paid.

2. GIFTS DO NOT EQUAL LOVE and if you think they do - maybe we shouldn't be friends :) Don't get me wrong. If you've ever read the book "The Five Love Languages" you'll know that some people get their love tanks filled up by giving and receiving gifts. While this is incredibly important to acknowledge if someone in your life can relate to this - it is crucial to remember that no matter how much money you spend - it doesn't determine the depth of your love for them. I hope not at least - because my hubby and I haven't gotten each other birthday gifts in 7 years!

3. LESS NOW= MORE LATER - If you're out there and you think I'm really cheap - PLEASE KNOW THIS - We're striving to be debt free very soon. If you stick it out with me, I promise I'll really ROCK in the gift department later. I promise I'm not stingy!

4. I HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF MY FAMILY - Ultimately, I'm called to take care of my family - and if my child won't have enough money in her college fund to go to school because I felt guilty about not spending hundreds of dollars on gifts 15 years ago - that's just not right. My family's safety and security HAS to come first - and the more debt I'm in - the more risks I'm taking with the safety of my family.

I struggle with this because I love to give. I also struggle because there's a part of me that is really concerned with how others view me. I do NOT want to be stingy - or to appear stingy for that matter!! But, hopefully the day is coming soon where this won't be such an issue!

But - if you're like me - and you worry about this stuff - I hope this helped you!

1 comment:

  1. I grew up learning that one does not say "I love you.", but rather buys a lot of expensive gifts to show that unsaid love....or as an unspoken apology for lack of love. I totally relate to the whole giving gifts thing. It's really hard for me to NOT go over the top, or feel guilty when I think the gift is not good enough. Though, recently I've discovered that there are tons of homemade crafty things that people LOVE. People LOVE gift cards, too! Or task oriented gifts...I'll watch your kids, wash your car...whatever. It's hard to let go of the dollar amount, but I'm getting there!

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