Welcome to Week 16 of earning dollars! As we enter this, the month of my birthday, it got me thinking about birthday money.
When I was a kid, somehow saving money got super drilled into my head. I mean, every kid wastes money on things their parents think is dumb, but I don’t even know how it happened that I am loathe to spend a nickel. On my first trip to Atlanta with a youth group, I brought home zero souvenirs. Zero. I kept every dime given to me to spend. Now, 20+ years later you can add on that Mom guilt we all seem to have. I’ll spend $20 on a want item for my daughter or husband in a heart beat, then hem and haw if I should actually spend $5 on a necessity for me. But none of this has any bearing on birthday money. It’s all back story.
So birthday money- really any gift money- is my preferred gift. What do I want for Christmas? Money. Birthday? Money. Arbor Day? Money. It drives my family insane, because you know what happens to that cash? It goes into savings, if I’m lucky. I use it for extras on a Disney trip- most likely for the kiddo- if everything went smoothly. Or I pay a bill with it. Oh, you want to make family mad? Take your Christmas money and pay extra on the car payment. They don’t enjoy that, haha. My mom actually says to me “now, actually spend that on you this time.” I don’t spend it on me this time. The thing is, it’s not because we’re living on such a razor thin budget that I have to do this thing- it’s just that for me, financial peace of mind is the greatest gift. I’d rather have $100 in the bank than a very beautiful vase that collects dust, or a Disney Dooney that I’d be terrified of getting dirty (no matter how absolutely gorgeous some of them are!). Even if I manage to come up with an item I want, I shop the deals and present the buyer with the exact time to buy, terms of the deal and how long the offer is good for- and then they often let the deal pass them by. It drives me insane to think someone may pay significantly more for something when they could have spent so much less. I guess it’s a good thing we’re on a couponing blog, am I right?
This is not to say I am unappreciative of gifts. My husband presented me with a signed copy of one of my favorite books by my favorite (now deceased) author and I bawled, y’all. I’ve had some truly thoughtful, beautiful gifts and I love them. I just can’t whip up a gift list for a gift’s sake though. I don’t want you to waste money “just to put something under the tree.” I don’t want a $5 Hallmark birthday card. Fold me a piece of paper and scribble you love me- that’s just as good, if not better (and if you wanna slide the $5 I just saved you on the card…be my guest).
Now, this is in no way to say that folks who spend their gift money or who ask for gifts are doing it wrong. My Sister in Law has been known to present a list to my Mother in Law, and in a way I admire that. She knows what she wants, she lets someone else buy it for her, and my mother in law is thrilled that she has something wrapped for her daughter under the tree, or for her birthday. I don’t even remember what it’s like say I want X, Y, & Z and not worry about the cost, even if it’s costing someone else money.
So I’m curious. If you receive money for a gift, what do you do with it? Do you TREAT YO SELF? Do you pay a bill? Does it go in savings? Let me know!
July 27th- August 2nd
$41.57- Credit Card Rewards
$28.24- Field Agent
$5- Flavor Testing Panel
$3- PineCone Research
$3- Early Review Program
$0.02- Found on the ground (and thoroughly sterilized)
Total earned this week: $136.83
Fund Total from last post: $1585.68
Current Fund Total: $1722.51
Still Needed: $3777.49
I’m averaging $107.66 a week!