5 Ways to Make Gift Buying Less Stressful


Yes, it’s back! The time of year when you go all out for gifts, trying to please everyone on your list (that is if you have a list). If you’re using cash it wouldn’t be so bad, because then you have some control of what you are spending. But, most people throw everything onto their credit card only to complain and become upset with themselves once that January bill hits their mailbox. Why do that to yourself?

Of course, we love to see our loved ones happy, but we must also keep it real. Just because it’s the holidays those bills don’t stop coming and those mishaps we call life don’t stop happening. Unless you are a Rockefeller, there is no need to get yourself all stressed out over one day just to appease others.

You need a plan for your holiday shopping. To create that plan, here are five questions you need to ask yourself before you add those items to your cart either in the store on online.    

  1. Am I overdoing it? – Another way to ask that question is: will I regret buying this next month? The worst thing you can do during the Christmas season is to put yourself in debt to buy a gift. If you are going into debt for Christmas then you are over doing it. Yes, you boo may love to see a brand new SUV in the driveway with a big red bow on it come Christmas morning, but not when she realizes you’re both in debt for $40,000.
  1. Is this a genuine gift, or am I being passive aggressive? – Please don’t be one of those guys that give their wife a diet cookbook or a treadmill. And please, don’t be one of those mothers-in-law that give her daughter in law the new best-seller, 5 Ways to Be a Better Wife. If your plan is to give a passive- aggressive gift, it is most likely best not to give a gift at all.
  1. Can I truly afford it? – This one is similar to the first one and is practical. If you have a $300 Christmas budget, can you really afford that $350 necklace for your babyboobear? No. If you created a budget, then stick to it!
  1. Why am I buying this gift? – Nothing is worse than feeling obligated to buy a gift for someone. If you truly want to buy someone a gift then do so from the heart not because you feel obligated to do so. Because guess what? Not all those you buy a gift for is looking for something in return. Sometimes it can make people uncomfortable. Don’t do things out of obligation or because you are just going through the motions. Doing so is totally WACK!  Maybe it is time to examine your true motives. If you are stretching your dollars but are still giving out of obligation, then you need to reevaluate your list.
  1. Is this gift really useful? – So you buy your brother who only wears ties for funerals or interviews yet another tie, and your sister who lives in a seventh-floor condo a bird feeder. The question is why? If you are buying things just to cross them off your list, then you are buying out of obligation. Pay more attention to those you are choosing to buy gifts for. Get to know their likes and their dislikes, and what would make a difference if even a small one in their life.

The point is, to be honest with yourself about your budget and especially your motives for giving this Christmas. Your budget and your stress level will thank you.


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