Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Conquer Clutter: Think Before Giving Gifts

Today Mason is 3 years old.  He is the son of one of the other Spendwise Moms.  Because we know them well, I wanted to get a gift for him.  One thing I have been concerned about in the past few years is giving gifts that end up being clutter for someone else.  I have tried to be a bit more thoughtful, but still fail at times.  Before getting a gift for someone, ask yourself the following questions:

1.  Is there a more eco-friendly thing I can do that they would enjoy as much or more such as giving a membership to a zoo or a museum?

2.  Is there something consumable that I can give such as a gift card to their favorite restaurant?

3.  Would it be a better idea to give a check towards a college fund for them?

4.  Would it be a good idea to ask if the gift is something the person would like?

5.  If it is a child, would it be good to ask ideas from the mother about what to give thus avoiding duplicates or unwanted items?

6.  Am I giving this gift for him/her to be happy or am I doing it out of obligation?  What can I do to change my attitude if it isn't what it should be?

Sometimes people focus on their good deals for giving gifts to people.  Don't get me wrong...I enjoy getting what I want for a better price.  But, buying something for ourselves or for others just because it is cheap or free or a great deal is just passing on clutter.  Would you want someone to do that for you?  Would you like them to do something for you that you would enjoy or get you a pair or pink shorts because they were on clearance?

If we live our lives doing for others what we would want them to do for us, we can't go wrong.  This same thing applies to gifts.  Ask yourself why you do what you do and if there is a better way.  I have come to the point in my life where I am happy just getting gifts cards or something consumable.  If they really want something, they can get it themselves.  But, if I know the person well, I will inquire to see if there is anything they would really like for their birthday.  If so, I get something if it is in the gift budget I have.  

Do you have any ideas about giving gifts that you would like to share?

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