Many people ask how much they should budget for gifts. This way of thinking can be dangerous. If you have a budget, you are likely to spend all that you had planned, and probably more. Instead of making a budget, I found it helpful to make a list and stick to it. A good rule for kids is one thing they want, one they need, one to wear, and one to read.
If you know someone who is frugal, minimalist, zero-waste, or just practical, chances are you struggle to find them a gift that they will love and is consistent with their values. One thing everyone has in common is that we all love to save money. Gift cards are great, but I feel awkward exchanging envelopes during the holidays. Here are 10 gifts that people will love and can save them money.
The day after Halloween, one of our local radio stations switched to 24/7 Christmas music. The day after Veteran’s Day, our nation’s flag was replaced with wreaths all around the city. It’s not even Thanksgiving, yet Christmas trees are on display at the mall and holiday music is playing throughout stores. Instead of getting me into the “holiday spirit,” it’s getting me disappointed in the commercialization of our holidays. While I love giving my children gifts for Christmas, here are 7 things I don’t buy for the holidays.
Before recycling/discarding an old item or purchasing a new item, use your problem-solving skills and find a creative way to use the things you have. Upcycle!
Continue reading Creative Ways to Save Money: Upcycle
How did it ever become okay to use something once then, throw it away? The answer: great marketing because it makes companies money.
Companies make more money when they are able to sell a product every week, month, or year than if they only sell it to you once. In addition to the financial cost, there is also the cost to our planet. Most things I used once and threw away will still be on this earth long after I am gone. This is not okay. Become a hero for our planet and save money by saying no to single use items.
Continue reading Save Money, Save the World
I get giddy over community yard sale day. Just as I love looking into people’s grocery carts, I also love walking around my neighborhood and looking at all the stuff for sale that people let into their lives that’s no longer of use. I actually get disappointed when I miss this day. But this year I tried something new. Instead of donating it, I tried to sell stuff I don’t need. How did it go? Is it better to sell or donate?
Inspired by a form of psychotherapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), I’ve changed my thinking about personal finances from “how can I save more?” to “what do I value in life?“. Here’s how you can build a better life based on your values, and save money in the process.
3 in 4 Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Among high earners (those making over $100,000) 1 in 10 are living paycheck to paycheck. There’s no reason for this! If you are making that much money, pay off your debt. Once your debt is paid, plan for your future. To do this, use the Pay Yourself First Budget.
Halloween is huge in my family. Not only do the kids want costumes for trick-or-treating, but school has the Character Parade during which they dress up like a character from a book. Of course, the kids want different costumes for their character parade and trick-or-treating. I’m not about to buy two costumes each year. But I don’t sew. So we’ve started to get creative making DIY Halloween costumes with items we already had.