This is the last weekend before Christmas and because it was a bit chilly to walk outside with Frugal Boy I braved the mall. No, I’m not a masochist, I just know that Frugal Boy loves people watching and what better place is there to people watch than the mall before Christmas.
As I was unloading the stroller back at home, one of our neighbors came by and asked if I had finished my Christmas shopping. I told him no, I had never even started. He offered me luck on a seemingly impossible task, to save Christmas in less than a week. What I didn’t tell him, was that while I hadn’t done any traditional shopping, I was in fact done with gift giving.
The Frugal Gift For Your Spouse
Shae and I have always had an aversion to trying to find the ‘perfect’ gift for one another. The hassle of it all, shopping, buying, wrapping, keeping the secret, and hoping for a genuine positive reaction during the unveiling is all a bit more work than either of us would like to do. In something of a growing tradition, the goto token gift has become new pairs of socks, simple, practical, and fairly cheap.
Our unconventional gifts to one another are both easy to give and a joy to receive. This year we both paid off a chunk of our mortgage for a combined extra prepayment of 10%. All told, in 2014 by living frugally, we have been able to shave off 40% of our mortgage this year alone.
The quadruple mortgage payments that we started making in April have set us on track to be mortgage free in about 12 months (assuming we give ourselves the same present next year)! Yippee!
The Frugal Gift For Your Child(ren)
Frugal Boy isn’t old enough to really appreciate presents, so this year we just made a contribution to his 529, college savings, plan.
You can see two jumps in the chart. The first in May when we put inheritance money towards future education and another in December when we gave him his present early.
While a 100% monetary gift works well for babies, because they don’t understand the concept of a gift, it probably won’t be a smash hit with older children. In the future we will continue to spend a substantial amount of Frugal Boy’s gift budget on 529/savings contributions while spending a bit of money on a token toy. After all, as parents, it is our job to take care of the needs and necessities first. We can let his relatives spoil him with the ‘fun’ stuff. If our Christmas tree is any indication, that is exactly what is happening (100% of the presents are to Frugal Boy).
The Frugal Gift For Your Nieces and Nephews
We basically followed our standard method of operation for our own children. Babies received all cash gifts and should their parents choose to invest that money in an account that compounds that niece or nephew will receive the advantage of time. Older nieces and nephews received trinkets and a supplement of cash to round out their presents. As an uncle and an aunt, we tend to be more prone to spoiling than with our own child. Plus, what kid doesn’t want 1,000 stickers for Christmas? 😀
While we haven’t done the traditional gift giving this year, we have done a frugal edition of it. A grand total of zero items were purchased at the mall, and most gifts came from our checkbook. Sure it isn’t the picturesque Christmas that you see in the films, but then again is that even the meaning of Christmas in the first place? With that said, are you done with your Christmas shopping?