• 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • Twelve 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • Need To Give, But Can’t Afford Anything? Three Timeless Free Christmas Gifts

    There are times in our lives when we simply don’t have the money to afford to buy Christmas gifts for everyone that we want to buy for. Perhaps unexpected bills have appeared, or debts have piled up too high; in any case, there are people out there who we desperately care for that we want …

  • The Five Greatest Financial Board Games #5: The Game of Life

    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 …