First 30 Days Blog

30 may

Gifting Responsibly

JennaSmithGifting gives me great pleasure. I like to get everyone something special for their celebrate their day. I’m the kind of gal who comes back from a trip to with a suitcase full of souvenirs to give to my mom, my mentors, and my mailman. I never worried about cost, giving feels so good and generous. Until one day when taking a look at my credit card statement I realized I nearly gifted myself into the poorhouse!

I learned my lesson the hard way: moderation in everything, even generosity. Giving beyond my means stretched my budget thin for a little while. Now I approach gift giving more sensibly. I still aim to please. Now instead of simply swiping a card at the store, I exercise a little more creativity and spending smarts to show people that I care.

Opt For Experience

While I once felt pressure to pile my nieces with the latest in toys, now I focus on giving them an experience they never forget. I give them “Auntie Day Outs,” we’ll hit a nature reserve, fly a kite, and have a picnic. My area is full of low cost and free activities for families and kids and I take full advantage of it.

Spending these days together has truly enriched our relationships. The one on one time gives me a chance to get to know the girls. They both are so creative and so funny! And so different–the youngest loves to go on long hikes or bike rides; the oldest always want to go to the main library or the history museum. The experience and memories we make far outshines the thrill of them tearing paper off something they might get bored with in a week!

Bargain Hunt

I never even used to look at price tags. I guess I thought it made me seem wealthy. Now you can’t stand between me and a good bargain. I keep my eyes open for great deals when I go out, and make sure to check clearance racks and sale piles. I swear I have a talent for making exactly what I want appear at half price. The trick is to stare really hard.

Of course, the internet makes find deals a snap. I find amazing sales all the time online. I recently found great coupon codes for gift baskets to send to my aunt who lives on the other side of the country. I sent her a Breakfast & Bubbles gift set that fit exactly within my spending budget once I applied the code.


I make a lot of gifts at home know. I have to be careful though because making my own gifts can easily get as expensive as buying them. Handmade gifts are especially good for things like holiday gift giving because it is easy to make a lot of little trinkets at once. Lately I hand print sets of coasters.

I also started making my own greeting cards to send for holidays. Part of reducing my gift spending means that certain people on my list only get a card. Hand making each card allows me to personalize and ensure that the recipient still gets something special.

Gift giving still makes me happy, and I still allot space in my budget to make sure I can afford to be generous. I stick to the budget, though. It allows me to give presents responsibly!

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Posted by Jenna Smith on May 30th, 2013 in Family, Finances, Personal Stories | 0 comments

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