After the fiasco of buying Mrs Lakendary’s friend a gift for her birthday, I told Mrs Lakendary we need to have a serious chat about gifts and how we are going to tackle it this year. She seemed a little hesitant but then I took initiative and created a list of people who will be getting gifts from the two of us for Christmas, birthdays, mothers and fathers day. She was pretty shocked at the length of the list and finally we got to talking.
The first problem we had to face was how much do we allocate to each gift. The lower the amount the higher the stress of finding a good gift to give but the higher the amount the less money we will have day-to-day. We agreed on an amount but also felt like it might be too low. The gift we bought my wife’s friend was higher than the allocated amount per gift.
My wife gets a 13th paycheck in November every year, it’s in her contract. So we decided to use that money for Christmas gifts to lighten the load on the monthly budgeted gift fund. It didn’t really make that big of a difference though.
The whole talk of finances just kind of made us sad. We just didn’t want to talk about it anymore. We had other big plans for the year but now it looks like something as simple as a gift fund might cripple other plans we might have. For instance we decided to each try the 52 week savings challenge. After last night we decided to rather do it together as a couple instead of as individuals, meaning instead of saving $26k this year, we’ll only be saving $13k.
Our holiday plans might also take a hit this year. We were planning on visiting my parents for Easter and also going to a wedding. My parents live 400km (~250 miles) away and the wedding is also close to where my parents live. My mother-in-law wants us to also go to her husband’s hometown, which is 1200km (~750 miles) away. Finally for Christmas, my parents want to go to Cape Town or Victoria Falls. That’s miles and miles away from where we stay. INSANE!
Just typing this blog post is making me more and more depressed about our current financial situation. I know there is a lot we could do to improve it but it’s so much easier to just sit back and not try at all, not give up on the stuff that that makes us happy.
For instance last night my wife and I came to do the conclusion that we need this gift fund but at what expense? Are we willing to give up eating out? We both like trying out new restaurants so we won’t feel happy if we can’t go.
Sacrifices have to be made but why is it that we have to make those sacrifices? It’s not like we will be getting gifts from other people for the same amount we spent. Some of the people who are receiving gifts from us aren’t in a position to give us gifts like our nephews and nieces.
I think we should just Google search frugal gift ideas, try them out and hope they people getting the gift at least appreciates the gesture.
Until next time. Thanks for reading.