Bargain Betty

Bargain Betty’s money savvy tips

Christmas spending


I have quite strong views about Christmas Spending, but I appreciate that there are other money personalities out there and I’m not necessarily right and other wrong.  I’m intriged as to what others feel on the subject of presents:

1. Why do you give? Do you give to get something in return, do you give becuase it boosts you psychologically, or some other reason.

2. Do you think families should set spending limits on Christmas spending?

3. Do you like receiving money or vouchers?

4. Would you prefer money or vouchers to a present?

5. Does an expensive present mean more to you than a cheap one? (Be honest here)

6. How do you feel when you get something you don’t want?

7.  Any other thoughts about Christmas spending?

6 Comments to

“Christmas spending”

  1. On November 4th, 2011 at 10:27 am Steven Says:

    1. I love giving to my kids and see the joy on their faces.
    2. Yas absolutely, I’ve seen madness at Christmas times where money is lavishly spent, in almost obscene quantities.
    3. Either is good to me, I can get something at my leisure.
    4. Yes regularly.
    5. Hand made gifts are the most important to me, especially from my kids.
    6. It’s the thought that counts.

  2. On November 4th, 2011 at 10:44 am Bargain Betty Says:

    Thanks Steven. Yes, hand made gifts from my kids are wonderful. Once at university my friend Brenda gave me a home-made hand painted pillowcase. That was loved and used for years and years and years. It was one of the nicest presents I’ve received in my life as so much thought went into it. It had a picture of Mary Poppins as we both used to laugh about how I had a quite unfounded reputation as being a nice girl, among our university colleagues…..
    Bargain Betty

  3. On November 4th, 2011 at 3:02 pm Rosa Says:

    1. I love the challenge of finding/creating something that will be enjoyed by my loved ones – it’s a way of showing how much I care. And it makes me feel good when I hit the nail on the head as well!

    2. If necessary – though if silliness is not prevailing no need to be militaristic. We have never discussed this in my family but no-one goes overboard.

    3. Yes – I love feeling like I have “splurge” money. I slightly prefer vouchers because they show more thought.

    4. I’d prefer a voucher or money to a gift that hasn’t been carefully thought through – and my favourite gift to receive (and often to give) are experiences – so vouchers to do something rate highly.

    5. It’s really the thought that counts – and when I say that I mean thought, not obligation. 😉 Really inexpensive (and homemade) things often trump pricey things, when the giver has thought about the recipient.

    6. Terrible – gives me huge guilt complexes! If the person’s heart is in the right place I don’t mind, but often these things are driven by obligation, and often from people who can ill afford it.

    7. I know that gift giving isn’t financially rational – the things we value the most generally we will purchase for ourselves – but I love the excitement of both giving and receiving, which increases the value for me. And I plan and budget for Christmas months in advance, so I can take advantage of sales as they arrive and stick to my budget. 🙂

    I’m keen to hear your take!

  4. On November 6th, 2011 at 11:32 am Stef Says:

    1. We give gifts to our family because we love to see their faces when they open up their presents. We don’t expect anything in return. I also like thinking about what our family will like, and hunting out the perfect gift.

    2. Yes, I know several families who go completely over board. We set a limit for ourselves, our children and our parents and our nephew. I am also aware that some other people in our family do not have a lot of money to spend on a gift, I don’t want them to feel like that have to match what we spend – so we set a limit together, this works well for us.

    3. I would prefer a gift, as more thought has gone into it. However, if they think a voucher is suitable and they can’t find a gift, that is fine.

    4. No.

    5. No, not at all. Someone could have gone out of their way to find something for me that I wanted, that happens to be cheap. It doesn’t matter though, because it’s something I wanted.

    6. I don’t get upset or angry or annoyed like some others I know. The person gave it to me thinking I would like it, they would have put thought into it, which is the main thing.

    7. I buy things throughout the year, and put them away in a gift box. So when birthdays and Christmas come along, I can go and get things out of my gift box. We also put money into a specific Christmas account for buying the bigger gifts, food, and other bits and pieces over Christmas.

  5. On November 11th, 2011 at 11:14 am Bargain Betty Says:

    Thanks Stef. It’s always interesting to hear different people’s approaches. I have a present box as well. We have a famliy tradition (over three generations) that we laugh about of giving second-hand gifts. So during the year I pick up odds and sods at school galas and so on. We’re very open about the fact that they are second-hand gifts. In our case the main gift is usually new. But to be honest, I wouldn’t care if it was secondhand if it was the right gift for me.

  6. On November 11th, 2011 at 1:43 pm Jacki Says:

    1. I’ve cut back a lot in recent years and really only give to close family (plus gifts to my hairdresser, the kids’ teacher etc). Not to friends. I enjoy buying gifts and usually find it quite easy because I store away thoughts and ideas throughout the year. I pride myself on giving good presents that are well received. People often comment on it.

    2. I don’t set specific limits but there are “thresholds” in my mind that I won’t usually go over. With my family, I can be quite erratic in what I spend. For example, some years I might spend $40 on my parents and other years I might spend $400. The budget isn’t paramount for me, it’s getting something that’s appropriate and that they will like. I am not at all bothered if they spend less on me.

    3/4. I don’t mind receiving vouchers but I hardly ever give them because I think that they are lazy presents that show an absence of thought. (This is not to say I judge the giver, just that I won’t do it myself). My husband’s family is big on asking each other what they want – again, I think that’s lazy. Pay attention and think about what they would like!

    5. I don’t care about the value of the present but I appreciate it if thought and effort has gone into it. Expensive presents you don’t like are guilt inducing.

    6. I often get things I don’t like. I always feel guilty! Especially clothing – it can sit in my cupboard for years because I don’t feel able to move it on. I’ve come to realise that present giving comes easier to me than it does to most others and to lower my expectations accordingly. I get far more excited about seeing the reaction to my gifts at Christmas than I do about what I’m going to get myself.

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