Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Confession Time!

Did you notice the title of today's post? Before I get into my confession I'll start by saying I'm not quitting the gift guide, I'm prematurely ending it due to personal beliefs.

Are you confused yet? Read on and I'll at least try to explain.

So one of the main goals for me in writing this blog is to help you all live well but with in budget. While other goals have changed this has always been at the core. Basically living with a tight wallet, well that's how The Husband would describe it anyhow.

My intention with the DIY gift guide was to show you gift ideas that wouldn't cost a lot and you could put your heart and soul in to. The thing is though my own heart and soul wasn't in it.

Stay with me here as I may ramble from one point to another to try and explain this.

I think I'll start here: just because something is cheap does not mean it's 'cheap'. Monetarily speaking an item may not have cut into your budget but it is highly likely that it was well thought out. A gift chosen with someone's interest in mind is not cheap it's from the heart whether it cost $2 or $200.
I have a varied range of interests. I'd be just as happy with an $8 antique looking reindeer from Kmart as I would with the $80 gingerbread house candle holder from Dusk. Both items are of interest to me and if someone gave me either I know it would be because they knew this, they knew me.

This is what handmade is about. Customising products for the intended.
Let's face it. Long gone are the days when it was, monetarily speaking, cheaper to hand make all your gifts. Even buying handmade is not budget friendly now.
I completely understand why, before you jump down my throat about handmaidens needing to earn a wage too, a lot of time and effort is put into hand made items. But handmade is turning a corner in my opinion from being for the stay at home mum to save a few bucks, to an online boutique store with prices to rival Myer.

I got to thinking while I was posting my last entry about covered journals. Kmart sell funky journals for $5! So if you don't have the mod podge or fabric it's financially cheaper to head to the store and pick a book that the intended recipient would enjoy. I know this because I saw a flamingo and a pineapple the last time I was there and they nearly made it in my cart for my sister.
The only reason they didn't is because I gave myself a per person budget for Christmas gifts and I had spent it already. I'm happy with her gift, as I hope she will be, it's half Hand made and half store bought. The hand made items could have been store bought but it was a rare item that's actually cheaper to make than buy. This doesn't mean that I don't love her because I chose to save money on her gift. She is getting the same item but her little sister won't break the budget over it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is don't let the peer pressure - and by peer I actually mean media, family, and friends - get you down. Don't let this odd guilt we all carry around make you break budget this christmas.

Take this as an example:
Miss Four has been invited to two birthday parties this week. We legitimately can't make one the other we can however I honestly don't feel like taking money from my budget this week to spend on another piece of plastic to join the twenty other prettily wrapped pieces of plastic that this child will receive. It's not that I don't wish this girl the most awesome of birthdays, I do, but I have a tight budget and my family comes first...ALWAYS!
Therefore here's what I'm doing:
I'm going to Kmart - yes I know I really love that store. If you're reading from the U.S. think Walmart, from the UK think Primark - I'm going to Kmart and I'm going to go to the stationary/crafty aisles and I'm going to pick up a handful of items to make a gift basket. Coloured pencils, sketch books, stickers...the list goes on, they have SO much. But with just a few dollars she will receive a well thought out gift that will entertain her when mum and dad take away the noisy toys, or that she can take in the car, or out to tea.

The point I've been working my way to is while I thought I'd be helping by giving my readers a DIY gift guide I realised that I'd be helping more by telling you that it's ok to buy a gift that doesn't cost a lot of money or even time because at the end of the day it is the thought that counts and my love for my family and friends is like a MasterCard ad...

Homemade sugar scrub in favourite scent: $4
Board Game I know they'll love: $20
Gift wrap: handmade by children or possibly recycled from last year

Lifetime of memories: priceless

Remember it's great to create your own priceless MasterCard Christmas but remember your financial goals and try and steer clear from using the credit card for purchases.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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