December 8, 2005

December 8, 2005

Give now, pay later, AND save... Honest!

Over the next couple of weeks, we'll talk about some ways to save on that Christmas spending. One of the best ways is to spread it out. Of course that may mean you pay off your credit cards (with their new higher minimum payments) over the coming months. Or it may mean you opt for one of those "No payments due until 2007" deals (be careful here!). But in both those instances, you're going to pay to use (borrow) someone's else's money.

What do I mean by spreading out the cost of Christmas? Let me digress a little bit before I answer that. Over the years, I've found that we give fewer things for the holidays. If I go for example to the Old Port area of nearby Portland, with all its neat little shope and unusual offerings, I'm overwhelmed. I want it all and I want it now!!

And if I get something for one person, that old fairness thing kicks in, and I think well, I really should get one for.... or, maybe I should get a little something more for... and WHOA, serious shopping escalation has set in!

So we tend to look for other kinds of present to give. Tickets for events. Classes. Experiences, especially experiences to share. Let me give you some examples and you'll see how it spreads the expense. Last year, a daughter gave Bert an hour (shared with her) at the local archery range. They didn't go until October (when she actually paid for it), but they had it to look forward to. This same daughter has in the past given him deep sea fishing for the following summer.

(Personally, I'm a BIG fan of present for after Christmas...) This year we're giving Hannah and Greg a weekend trip to their choice of Quebec or Montreal, including babysitting for two grandchildren and one grandpuppy. It's more than we could easily afford with everything else at this time of year, but we'll pay for it when they make the reservations, probably in May or June. And we'll be giving Ward a cerificate for a knife-making class at the nearby art school in April and May. Bert's planning to take the class too and we'll pay for both in late January-early February.

Start thinking about this kind of thing , and let's talk about many more, even more frugal, ideas in the next few days.

Have a wonderful Thursday... we've got 6" of snow predicted for tomorrow! Mary

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