Gifts

Finding the Perfect Gift Without Spending Too Much

As I write this, I’ve spent about five hours online hunting down “perfect” gifts for various people on our Christmas shopping list. In almost every case, I wound up spending less than our target dollar amount on our list. In almost every case, as well, I found a gift that I think is utterly perfect …

Categories: Gifts

“So, What Do You Want for Christmas?”

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard this question several times from various people who find me on their Christmas gift list this year. I’m guessing they’re all thinking more or less the same thing: what do you get for a guy who doesn’t really want anything? So they ask me, and then I’m left …

Categories: Frugality, Gifts

Gift Registries: Tactics and Good Taste

A few days ago, I received an interesting email from a person I vaguely knew from college. This person “rediscovered” me via The Simple Dollar, befriended me on Facebook, and sent me one or two emails. Out of nowhere, though, the person emailed me a link to their wedding registry. It had been emailed to …

Categories: Gifts

Do You Overspend on Gifts? Six Things to Think About Before Striking Again

One of my readers related a story to me over a long conversation that, rather than posting a bunch of long quotes, I’m going to paraphrase. This reader, who we’ll call Maggie, receives an over-the-top lavish gift from her great aunt each year. Her aunt loves buying the perfect gift for everyone in her family …

Categories: Gifts

The Gift Card Dilemma(s)

A few days ago, on the very day I pledged to reduce my personal book buying budget to $0 for the coming year, a little surprise came in the mail: a $25 gift card. To a bookstore. Ordinarily, this kind of thing is just something to laugh off and not worry about, but the whole …

Categories: Gifts

Gifts That Matter Don’t Come From Wal-Mart

… they come from the heart. In most of our lives, there seems to be a never-ending string of gift giving occasions – birthdays, graduations, baby showers, wedding showers, and so on. That often means a never-ending string of gifts to give, and because we’re all so busy and harried, it’s often easier just to …

Categories: Gifts

The Souvenir Debate

After an offhand mention of souvenirs recently, several people commented on the topic, indluding Cyde Weys, who left this one: And as for souvenirs while traveling, my solution is simple: I don’t buy them, period. Souvenirs are synonymous with schlock in my mind. I can return from a trip with the memory card in my …

Categories: Gifts

Savings Bonds as Gifts for My Children: How Should I Handle Them?

Both of my children have received a pair of savings bonds as Christmas gifts this year. While the gift is wonderful and very much appreciated, I am considering cashing them in and putting that money straight into their college 529 account. Let’s look at the pros and cons of the choices. Why I Should Cash …

Categories: Gifts, Parenting

The Over-Gifting Relative

Each year, my grandmother gets me and my wife an exorbitantly expensive gift, usually something way out of her budget. One year, she managed to procure a small library of Kurt Vonnegut novels all signed and with individual notes inside in his handwriting. Another year, she managed to find me several pounds of fresh imported …

Categories: Family, Gifts

The Simple Dollar’s Wii Buying Guide for Christmas 2007

Usually, I don’t write about specific luxury goods, but over the last two weeks, I’ve received about twenty emails about buying a Wii as a Christmas gift, so it’s probably reasonable to expect that there are a lot of other readers out there with similar questions. If you’re completely not interested in a Wii this …

Categories: Gifts

Great Gifts Under $10 I’d Love To See Under My Tree

When I started working on this post, I was trying to make a list of Christmas (or other winter holiday) gift ideas under $10 that would be great to give for family gift exchanges, as stocking stuffers, and so on. I easily made a list, but then I realized when I read through it that …

Categories: Christmas, Frugality, Gifts

Eight Frugal Father’s Day Gift Ideas

For me, Father’s Day has always been much easier to understand than Mother’s Day, perhaps because I saw my father as a role model growing up and now I have become a father myself. I also find that most fathers I know like “open-ended” gifts – ones that they can continually get enjoyment out of …

Categories: Gifts, Parenting

The Frugal Wedding Registry: Wedding Gift Ideas To Help Put That Special Couple On A Sound Financial Path

When we got married, we received a ton of gifts from family members of all kinds, ranging from towels to a weird statue of a hobbit to a knife set to towels to a handmade quilt to towels. Needless to say, we still have plenty of towels. Today, though, there are only a few that …

Categories: Gifts, Marriage

Oh, No! I Forgot Their Birthday! Ten Inexpensive Solutions

I regularly forget birthdays of friends and family, only remembering them at the very last possible second. I used to think that running to a specialty store and picking something at random was a great idea, but quite often I would wind up giving gifts that would go unused and forgotten – even worse, these …

Categories: Frugality, Gifts

The Five Greatest Financial Board Games #2: Acquire

To celebrate the week before Christmas (and give you a few great last minute gift ideas), The Simple Dollar is reviewing five board games that not only are a blast to play, but teach valuable financial lessons as well. All of these games should be easily found at a department store or a gaming specialty …

Categories: Games, Gifts

The Five Greatest Financial Board Games #3: Modern Art

To celebrate the week before Christmas (and give you a few great last minute gift ideas), The Simple Dollar is reviewing five board games that not only are a blast to play, but teach valuable financial lessons as well. All of these games should be easily found at a department store or a gaming specialty …

Categories: Games, Gifts

25 Gadgets That Actually Save Money

I admit it: I’m a gadget addict. I like little devices that do neat things. At the same time, I also like to save money. What is a poor modern man to do with these two conflicting interests? Simple. I buy gadgets that can pay for themselves (and even see a bit of return) over …

Categories: Gifts, Technology

Handling Cash Gifts, Both For Yourself And For Your Children

My family regularly receive small cash gifts from relatives in lieu of actual gift items. These gifts are especially nice when the pinch of the holiday season is being felt, but it leaves us wondering what an appropriate use of these gifts actually is. On one hand, the relatives expect you to spend it on …

Categories: Gifts, Parenting

The Five Greatest Financial Board Games #4: Monopoly

To celebrate the week before Christmas (and give you a few great last minute gift ideas), The Simple Dollar is reviewing five board games that not only are a blast to play, but teach valuable financial lessons as well. All of these games should be easily found at a department store or a gaming specialty …

Categories: Games, Gifts