Today’s tip is to skip the expensive Christmas gifts this year — which cost the average American over $850 last year — and instead give something more meaningful this year.
The economy is horrible. People are in debt and they’re losing jobs every day. Yet there’s one sacred cow that we can’t seem to shake — no matter how bad things get.
Christmas gifts: The things we love to complain about, but hate to be honest about. Can you even imagine calling your parents, or your girlfriend, or talking to your son about how you can’t afford to buy something this year?
Of course not. And that’s how we incur exorbitant debt, starting off each new year on the wrong foot. Instead of planning to get ahead, we’re already clawing back from debt.
Here’s an article Thomas Friedman at the New York Times just wrote:
I go into restaurants these days, look around at the tables often still crowded with young people, and I have this urge to go from table to table and say: “You don’t know me, but I have to tell you that you shouldn’t be here. You should be saving your money. You should be home eating tuna fish. This financial crisis is so far from over. We are just at the end of the beginning. Please, wrap up that steak in a doggy bag and go home.”
So I’ve come up with an idea that I hope you can share with your friends and family. It’s free, and it’s very simple, but the point is to share that you can do something for the people you love without spending money. In fact, I’m willing to bet they’ll respect you more if you look them in the eye and say, “Look, things are really tough this year. I can’t buy you a gift like I want to, but I’d love to help you out around the house or host a dinner so we can catch up.”
There are so many other things you can do together, and there is plenty of inspiration available.
I mean it when I say that money is only a very small part of being rich. And it’s an even smaller part of the holidays.
Total savings: $50 to $1,000
Last thing to do
- See other tips in the Save $1,000 in 30 Days Challenge
- Leave a comment on this post describing how much you’re saving with this tip and any unusual techniques you use to make this tip work.
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