No doubt you can think of many reasons to stop buying gifts. When money is tight, having to buy gifts for friends and family can push your budget to the limit. Besides the cost, it can be difficult to think of a gift that people would like. Then you've got to go out and buy it, and shopping can be stressful. Here are some very good reasons to stop buying gifts …
1 Too Expensive
One of the most understandable reasons to stop buying gifts is that it can be very expensive. That's fine if you can afford it, but many household budgets are very stretched these days. Just think of how often you wonder how you're going to pay for Christmas. You should certainly never buy gifts if it means getting into debt, or that you will struggle to pay your bills.
2 Too Many People
You can easily find yourself buying gifts for a considerable number of people. Parents, siblings, children, in-laws, friends, neighbors, teachers … Even if you only buy small gifts it still adds up. Increasingly, families are opting to only buy presents for the children, or agreeing to limit the maximum amount spent on each person to, say, $10.
3 Unwanted Gifts
You only have to look on eBay or in thrift stores to see a mountain of unwanted gifts after Christmas. The cumulative total spent on gifts the recipient doesn't keep must add up to millions of dollars each year. What is the point of buying gifts that won't be appreciated? It can be difficult to know someone's taste, and you often end up buying something just for the sake of it.
Many occasions have become very commercialised - and it's not just the traditional gift-giving occasions like Christmas and birthdays. Now we're expected to buy for the newly-decreed Secretary's Day and Teacher's Day. Then there is the never-ending round of collections in the office for weddings, babies and leaving gifts. Is there anything that hasn't been turned into a gift-giving day?
5 Others Want to Stop
If you broach the idea of giving up buying gifts, you may find that others are just as keen as you to stop wasting their money. They may be very relieved that someone else has made the suggestion. There is a compromise if some people still want to buy gifts - opt for a Secret Santa, or buy a token gift of, say, $5. This can really bring out creativity. You could also opt for homemade gifts only.
It's fun to buy presents for kids, but most of them get far too many gifts. At Christmas and birthdays they have a huge pile of gifts to open, most of which are opened and then ignored in favour of their favorite. If you really want to give something to a child who gets lots of gifts, why not put some money in their savings account instead?
7 Not Appreciated
Finally, you should definitely not buy anything for someone who doesn't appreciate it. A polite person expresses their thanks, even if they don't like the gift. Others make it clear that they're not happy; they look down their nose at your gift because it's the wrong label or you haven't spent enough. Save your money for yourself.
If you genuinely enjoy buying gifts, then there's no reason to stop (unless you can't afford it). But if buying gifts causes you financial problems, or you are just buying because you feel obliged, then consider putting an end to the practice. Gifts should be given because you want to, not because it's expected. What is the worst or most memorable gift you've ever received?
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