gifting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8903/all en-US Budgeting Hack: Gift Calendars http://www.wisebread.com/budgeting-hack-gift-calendars <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/budgeting-hack-gift-calendars" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Gift Calendars.jpg" alt="calendar" title="calendar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I do it all the time. I figure I&rsquo;m right on track with my budget. I&rsquo;m so proud of my budgeting prowess. Until&hellip;my friend&rsquo;s birthday comes and goes. Then an anniversary, Mother&rsquo;s Day, a few more birthdays, more holidays yet, and of course &ndash; the ever-present Christmas. When I&rsquo;m left to pick up the pieces at the end of the year, I wonder what happened to my excellent budget. That is, until this year: I started keeping a gift calendar.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Planning out gift giving occasions on the calendar not only helps to create an accurate budget, but it is also a great way to organize yourself. Until recently, the birthdays of my friends and family were either committed to (my rather shady) memory, or scribbled on a piece of paper I inevitably forgot to reference in time. And missing a birthday or (gasp) an anniversary is rarely a good thing.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>The premise is easy. Simply sit down with the following:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Monthly Calendar</li> <li>Pen/Pencil/Markers</li> <li>Your Budgeting notebook/spreadsheet</li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Brainstorm all the gift-giving occasions you can think of</strong>. Be sure to include all the standard holidays, for example:</p> <ul> <li>Valentine&rsquo;s Day</li> <li>Easter</li> <li>Mother&rsquo;s Day</li> <li>Father&rsquo;s Day</li> <li>National Holidays</li> <li>Thanksgiving</li> <li>Christmas</li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Then concentrate on birthdays:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Mum</li> <li>Dad</li> <li>Kids</li> <li>Siblings</li> <li>Other Relatives</li> <li>Friends</li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Mark these gift-giving occasions on your calendar, and write them in your budgeting notebook or spreadsheet, leaving space to fill in specific gift suggestions and price tags.</strong> Your gift suggestions and price tags will likely be a work-in-progress throughout the year. But for initial budgeting purposes, fill in amounts that are reasonable estimates given the occasion.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">This exercise is not an invitation to find more opportunities than normal to buy stuff and stress your budget! So<strong> if you wouldn&rsquo;t normally give your friend a birthday present, don&rsquo;t put it in the gift calendar budget</strong>. It will still be nice to remember the occasion now that it is marked on the calendar. However if you know that a celebrative evening could entail a night on the town, you may want to include this expense in your gift-giving budget if it is not worked in somewhere else.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">As another example, if on Thanksgiving you don&rsquo;t tend to give gifts, consider the expense you might bear bringing a nice bottle of wine over to a Thanksgiving dinner, or even hosting the dinner itself. What about decorations? <strong>If there is an expense associated with that holiday that makes sense to incorporate into your gift calendar budget, then do so.</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p>Even with this level of planning, your budget can still go completely awry with unexpected gifts. So, while you are brainstorming, <strong>build a contingency into the budget for those gift-giving occasions you can&rsquo;t anticipate, for example:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Birthday gifts for parties your child attends</li> <li>Office pools for retirements, maternity leave, etc</li> <li>Gifts for new friends (birthdays, baby showers, etc)</li> <li>Wedding &amp; Engagement gifts</li> <li>Condolence &amp; Get Well gifts</li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Since you can&rsquo;t accurately anticipate the cost of these unexpected gifts, it is best to air on the side of caution. Better to overestimate a budget and come in under than it is to underestimate and have a nasty surprise.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Gift calendar budgeting is an activity the whole family can participate in.</strong> Kids will enjoy coloring each day of celebration in the calendar, and teenagers can help with budgeting and gift selection as part of their own <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-financially-educate-your-children" target="_blank">financial education</a>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Using a Gift Calendar is also a great way to schedule out your year. <strong>With these events clearly laid out, you can avoid unwittingly scheduling in conflicts</strong> &ndash; or at least forgetting to call on the big day. And with a decent budget in place to help you stay on track, you can use your gift calendar to proudly eliminate one of the biggest budgeting pitfalls.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/budgeting-hack-gift-calendars">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/local-currencies">Local Currencies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meet-meg-favreau-our-senior-editor">Meet Meg Favreau, Our Senior Editor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/raise-your-standard-of-living-by-focusing-your-spending">Raise your standard of living by focusing your spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-value-of-forever-stamps">The Real Value of Forever Stamps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/join-america-saves-week-february-24-to-march-2nd">Join America Saves Week February 24 to March 2nd</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Life Hacks budgeting gift calendars gifting giving gifts planning presents Mon, 04 May 2009 07:33:31 +0000 Nora Dunn 3116 at http://www.wisebread.com Dissecting "Gift Guilt" - When Does Receiving a Gift Make You Feel Bad? http://www.wisebread.com/dissecting-gift-guilt-when-does-receiving-a-gift-make-you-feel-bad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dissecting-gift-guilt-when-does-receiving-a-gift-make-you-feel-bad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gift_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="374" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ever since I was a child, I have been taught that when you receive a gift you should be happy about it and then give something back in return. To this day I still believe that is good manners, but sometimes receiving gifts is stressful for me because of what I call &quot;gift guilt&quot;. Read on to see what I mean.</p> <p>The most common kind of gift guilt occurs when someone gives me something but I do not have something to give back or I did not intend to buy a gift for that person. This has happened a few times at work, and most of the times I just said thank you and carried on. I think this is the easiest type of gift guilt to deal with because I can just give something in return.</p> <p>Another type of gift guilt is when I sincerely do not want or cannot use the gift. For example, I have received clothes from relatives in China that I cannot wear. I could not send the clothes back or return them to a store so they were given away to random people. It is sad that I cannot appreciate the gift, but sometimes that is how thing are, and I feel guilty for not liking or using a gift. </p> <p>Then there is the unsettling guilty feeling brought on by an extremely large gift. I feel indebted to people when they give me gifts with a large monetary value, and if the gift came from someone I barely know I would probably return it just to feel at ease. Maybe I am just paranoid, but I suspect that accepting a ginormous gift from an acquaintance could come back and bite me.</p> <p>The worst kind of gift guilt I get is when friends in debt give something to me. I do appreciate the gesture, but I feel bad about it because I feel that their need for the money is more than my need for a gift. At the same time it is also hard to say &quot;I cannot accept this gift because I know you need the money to pay off your debts.&quot; That just sounds really condescending, but sometimes I really do feel like screaming, &quot;pay off your credit card bills first before you give me something!&quot; I think this way because I do care about them, but it is hard for me to say it out loud.</p> <p>With that said, I do like giving gifts more than receiving them because there is less paranoia and guilt involved and I have never regretted giving out something. Perhaps I just think too much about this, and I should always just say thank you and move on, but sometimes I just cannot help feeling guilty about receiving something. Have you ever felt weird about receiving an undesired, unexpected, or unnecessarily generous gift? What did you do about it?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dissecting-gift-guilt-when-does-receiving-a-gift-make-you-feel-bad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-disgusting-fake-game-show-asks-what-would-you-do-for-money">My disgusting fake game show asks &quot;What would you do for money?&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-things-that-money-just-cant-buy">The things that money just can&#039;t buy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle friends gifting gifts guilt money Sat, 08 Mar 2008 06:06:25 +0000 Xin Lu 1894 at http://www.wisebread.com