Budgets. To put it bluntly, doing budgets is my LEAST favorite part of the year. Normally, I just cringe at the thought of figuring out what to spend in each area of a budget. The only part of a budget that EXCITES ME? The gifts. I’ve managed to cut out the entire gift giving budget and make it a BIG, FAT ZERO, every year. Cutting back on gift giving helps. However, I still give gifts. I know, you’re trying to figure out how I have a ZERO in the budget column for gift giving, but still give gifts. WHAT THE….? WHO THE….? HUH?
Spend a little passive time so you can spend nothing on gifts from your budget
How does she do it?
If you’re asking yourself how does this chick manage to still buy gifts for family and friends, but not spend any of her hard-earned paycheck, I have the answers for you! The TWO biggest things I have done to cut the gift giving budget down to a zero, meaning no cash out of pocket spent on gifts for ANYONE are:
- Cut out giving gifts to the adults for holiday gift giving (our holiday is Christmas). NO GIFT EXCHANGE with the “big kids.” Instead, it’s just parents, grandparents, and the kids. During the year, I still give birthday gifts and anniversary gifts, though. I haven’t cut EVERYTHING out.
- I pay for all gifts throughout the year, with gift cards, and some cash, I earn throughout the year FOR FREE. Nothing is purchased to earn these cards. I earn all gift cards, and cash, doing simple things during down time, on various websites. I earn cash, gift cards and sometimes physical gifts, so I can shop without using my hard earned cash.
Why does she do it?
How does this help with other parts of the budget? Easy. The money I used to spend on all of these gifts, now goes towards things the kids want to do.
- Little Miss gets to do Jiu Jitsu, dance and tennis.
- The Boy will join her in many of these activities.
All of these amazing things are possible, because I cut out gift giving expenses on the yearly budget. THOUSANDS of dollars saved, just because I figured out a way to earn:
- gift cards
- PayPal cash
- physical products
All earned doing simple things on the computer each day, or on my smartphone. Everything is done during down time. It doesn’t take much time, 15 minutes each day to hit all of my various sites. I have a lot of them, too. I just buzz through them, throughout the day, whilst:
- waiting for jiu jitsu to end
- patiently waiting for dance to end
- sitting off the court, waiting for tennis to be over
It’s an amazing feeling knowing budgeting for gifts, for our family, has become a pleasure. I don’t stress about having the money to buy gifts for all of the birthday parties my kids are invited to, or all the baby showers, wedding showers, and gift giving celebrations, we’re graciously asked to attend. And my kids get to experience amazing activities, because Mommy just “makes it happen” for them!
Budget time stinks, I can’t lie. I still hate looking at all the other areas, but when getting to the gift buying portion and seeing a big, fat, beautiful ZERO, it makes me smile and it makes the rest all worth it!
This post is a part of Women’s Money Week 2012. For more posts about , see womensmoneyweek.com.
[…] Women’s Money Week: Budgeting […]