Given the Holiday spending season is upon us, I thought I’d help out with some great Holiday Ideas to make sure that you save money, so the Grinch isn’t waiting for you in January to foreclose on Whoville.
Convert to Judaism, a sudden religious change will throw off your family and save you from Christmas, however, you will still be on the hook for Chanukah so keep that one in mind (8 Crazy nights of Chanukah).
Regift, regift, regift, the importance of this at holiday time cannot be underestimated. Other folks have worked hard to thoughtfully buy you something, so you should repay their thoughtfulness by giving that thoughtful gift to someone else (and saving money).
Declare bankruptcy now, and beat the January rush. No one will expect you to buy them a gift if you are bankrupt (and you might make out like a bandit with gifts of cash), whether you actually declare bankruptcy is up to you (you could save money by simply stating you did it).
Abide by the Christmas Rules , if someone asks you what you are buying them for the Holidays, answer with, “That puts you on the naughty list” and then don’t give them a gift. The rules of the holiday are clear about who does and does not get gifts, and it helps save money.
Honest Mistake Option, on Christmas morning when everyone is handing around the gifts and such, and they turn to you and say, “Where are the gifts that you are giving”, put on your best act and say, “I FORGOT! OH MY GOD, I am SO SORRY!”. It is easier to beg forgiveness (as always).
Play Christmas Chicken, don’t buy gifts for people you don’t think you will see over the holidays, and if you do see them, carry an emergency gift card from a gas station that you can give them (beef jerky, a gift card, or maybe a window scraper).
Christmas Roulette, claim that you took all over your Christmas money, went to Vegas, and gambled it all on the Roulette Wheel (if you want you can say you put it on Black and it came up Green), and thus you have no money left for the holidays. Be very effusive about the things you would have bought folks had you won.
The Reason for the Season, stop worrying about the gifts that you are buying folks, and just do something nice for them that they need done (that they maybe can’t do themselves)? The idea of Christmas is not to bankrupt yourself and drive yourself crazy trying to find the last GI-Joe (with Kung Fu grip) (or that Hatchimal thing), I know I go to Church. You know what says “I love you” the most? You saying, “I love you!”, surprisingly.
Don’t I sound Grinchy? Send me a lump of coal by Paypal if you wish.
Christmas is only a few days away. We will soon all be getting together with friends and families, to share in this happy season. The big Christmas question this year is how will you deal with your family’s financial expert Uncle Frank ?
Every family has an Uncle Frank (or Aunt Francine). The family member who claims to be a money expert and will chew your ear off about how they are doing well financially. How do you deal with a financial expert like this? You are OK with your investments, you don’t want advice, but if you duck Uncle Frank, Aunt Frieda (the crazy cat lady) will corner you in the kitchen.
If you are comfortable with it, you could simply argue with Uncle Frank about how leveraged Hedge Funds are the last thing your 70 year old mother should be investing in, or how the next market crash (or huge gain) may not be due to happen soon, but most folks just want to try to change the subject, or hide in the basement (or drink a lot more eggnog).
As a service to my readers, here are some helpful phrases to throw at Uncle Frank. They may help you slow down this relentless financial expert:
I have heard that with Trump’s election, the Russian economy will be making huge gains, so I am planning on putting my money in a Vodka Hedge fund.
Someone I work with has got me some inside information on how bees (the insect) will soon all be gone, so I should invest in honey futures (aka the Bee Movie fake out).
Given the exploding prices of houses and condos in Toronto and Vancouver, I have decided to live in a Van down by the river (aka the Chris Farley method).
I have a great multilevel sales opportunity that guarantees me huge paybacks, if I can get other folks to join in on this rare chance to make money, can I sign you up ?
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, catch up on your family’s news, but try to leave money discussions out of things. Are there any other escapes from Uncle Frank I missed ?
Are you ready for Christmas? Well if you aren’t you have a couple of hours to try to pull the fat out of the fire and save the day (or you can always buy a lot of interesting things at the convenience stores, and don’t forget the power of Gift Cards , or maybe some tasty beef jerky, and some windshield washing fluid on Christmas Eve ).
Does it really all matter? If you are with the people you love, or you are where you want to be, if anybody gets upset about not getting a present (that is older than 12 years old) they should really just lighten up.
If you do have time, think about the Charities that might want your help this season, there are some fine ones mentioned here, that will gladly accept your donations.
Enjoy the holiday, enjoy the extra long weekend (unless you work in the Retail sector, in which case, please be patient with the Boxing Day onslaught).
Drive carefully, as well, I am out there driving around, too!
Back in 2014, the topic of whether to Regift came into play. Regifting is taking something you have (possibly old and used) and passing it off as a new gift.
We dropped my daughter off at school, and my son saw one of my daughter’s university buddies playing Guitar Hero. Evidently, at University, the kids “rough it” by using old technology. My son was fascinated by the sight of this game. His hand-eye coordination was such that he couldn’t get the hang of the guitar. However, he remembered that we had a PS/2 in our basement. I set it up for him (well, it sounded like an order, I think he said please).
Setting up the game was easier than I remember. The TV we use for my son had a spare AVI port. You know that old Red, White and Yellow cable we used to use on tube TVs. For the rest of the day, my son was enjoying Simpson’s Road Rage (although he likes to play Air Guitar Hero (you walk around with the “guitar” acting like you are playing the game).
This episode got me thinking that with my son, and how he has had many regifted toys over his life (he has Teletubbies, Tickle Me Elmo, and a Tutter from his sisters and many other older toys) and seems no worse for wear for me not spending many dollars on toys. I remember the amount of pain my wife went through to get those toys new (the Tickle Me Elmo craze was a scary time), and I am happy that they can be enjoyed again.
You realize that Christmas is coming in a while. Are you going to buy your kids or grandkids a bunch of toys that may end up locked in a closet one day? What if you put some money in an RESP for them or in trust for when they get older? Does old money get locked in a closet?