Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Year of Intentional Shopping Part IV- Gifts

Just a little background for those who didn’t read my first post on this- the idea is that from August 10th 2016 to August 10th 2017, I will begin an experiment designed to change how I approach all purchases that I make. I feel that I can be too wasteful and haphazard about my shopping in general. Going forward, I want all of my purchases to be made intentionally. This will encompass all purchases that I make for myself and my family- food, toiletries, and of course clothing.

I’ve talked about household items here, wardrobes here, and how I plan to purchase food intentionally going forward here. Today, let’s talk about Gifts.

Gifts can be an Achilles heel for me. I’m one of those people, the kind that really overdoes gifting for people I care about (and overspends). Be it a Birthday, Christmas, Easter, a Baby Shower- I buy too much. Since they don’t sit around in my home, I only feel guilty about it during purchasing/spending and then forget. I’ve thought about this a LOT, and I have a follow up post about this topic so I’ll be brief here. I think my problem is that I try to use gifts to show someone how much I care. It’s misguided, I’ll admit it. I also try very hard to get things people will actually like and use, so there is that. But it’s still too much- too many gifts, too much $ spent. It’s also hard because I’m known for this, and it’s hard to change it after previously having given big/several gifts previously because I think they’ll wonder why or think I care less now. I also ran into trouble before when gift-giving in a setting with several people (think Christmas). I’d buy too much for one child and have to buy the same amount for the rest to even it out- all because of poor planning and magpie shopping.

After reflection, I know this also must change for me to correct my spending habits. It’s not beneficial to my family (overspending or setting up an expectation for my daughter), and I’m sure not all of my gifts are as loved or as useful as I’d hope they’d be. Material items do not reflect my feelings, and fewer gifts will be just as appreciated I am sure. It’s also likely that it will be even more appreciated, since many of the receivers of my gifts cannot give the same in return and have felt guilty due to the excessive/lavish gifts I have given them.

Going forward, my gift giving will be as scrutinized as my wardrobe additions. I won’t stop giving gifts, but they will follow my new rules:
  • Keep the gifts fewer in number.
  • Continue to be selective in the gifts I give and make sure they will be liked/used/is to the receiver’s taste
  • Keep the gift’s total price as low as possible without being cheap.
  • Try to do alternate gifts when possible- experiences (like movies, theater, parks), labors of love such as DIY (for instance, for mother’s day a basket of things like for gardening or pampering),  etc
  • Plan the gift giving carefully so not to buy too much and shop from a list

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