Friday, November 28, 2014

Break Free From The Herd

In case you missed it we are a month away from Christmas. People are going crazy trying to fit gifts into the budget - not me because I start my Christmas shopping in January but most other people - and then they're freaking out at the size of the list of people they have to buy for.

I should re phrase that it's not 'have to buy for' it's 'feel they should buy for to keep up appearances or to fit in with the Jones'.

Newsflash people "The Jones' are broke, you do not want to be like them"

I've had a handful of friends over the past couple of weeks talking to me about how many gifts they need to buy for their children's school teachers and I'm completely blown away by this.

I'm grateful yes that my child's teacher is doing her job and, no hang on there is no 'and' they are doing their job, end of story.

My work history is early childhood education so I've been there caring for twenty plus kids day after day. It was what I CHOSE to do. I'll admit too that I loved that at the end of the year they would shower myself and the other teachers with gifts but I NEVER expected it. Not for simply doing my job. I got a thank you each day, I saw the kids with huge smiles as they learnt a new skill I taught them so yes I loved the gifts - who doesn't love getting presents? - but if one child didn't hand out presents I didn't treat them or their parents any differently because I wasn't in it for the gifts.

To be honest if you're a teacher who expects to be handed presents at the end of the year then I think perhaps you're in teaching for the wrong reasons and the children would be better off without you.

My children will hand out a Christmas card to their teacher thanking them for helping them grow and learn over the year but that's where it ends.

I'd really like to know where everyone is getting their money from to be buying all these extra gifts too. I know not everyone is on the same finance journey that The Husband and I are on but I do know that a lot of people these days are strapped for cash. How do you justify a possible $100 on two to five acquaintances? And why do you push the budget to do it?

There is always going to be one mum that is actually better off than the rest of the class and that mum is nearly always going to lavish teachers with expensive gifts. Maybe she does it because she's lonely and depressed for reasons we'll never know and shopping makes her feel better. The fact is she is not you. Don't make her way your way. You are a great mum (or dad), stick to the budget, thank your children's teachers because YES they do an amazing job and deal with a lot of crap but don't break the bank just to fit in. We are not sheep, be your own person.

I am in no way feeling guilty at all about not buying gifts for Miss fours teachers - she has four this year - I see no reason why I should be. I won't blush from embarrassment when 'that' mum - yep I have one in my class - arrives with a big gift bag over flowing and I have cards.

I'm here to help you understand that you don't need to do it. I am not intentionally bashing those who do feel they need to buy gifts but my blog is to show you how to work with in your budget and that means eliminating guilty buys.

If you can fit it in your budget, comfortably so that you don't actually notice the extra expense, then go for it. Thank the teachers with a gift. If however it will be a struggle, if you'll need the credit card to pay for it, if you'll have to cut out something for your family then stick to a thank you card.

I can guarantee you that a card filled with a heartfelt thank you will be remembered long after the chocolates are eaten, the bubble baths been re gifted and the gift vouchers been spent.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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