This is a post by staff writer Yazmin Cruz.
Self-gifting is fast becoming a new holiday and Christmas tradition. Time Moneyland reports many people are rewarding themselves with self-gifts of $140 this year — that’s up 9% from 2011. Selfish? I think not, but then again my demographic has been maligned for spoiling themselves. Do you think self-gifting is selfish?
This tradition is most popular with the young crowd. Those aged 18-24 are the most frequent self-gifters (71.5% in this group self-gift). But those of us age 25-34 are expected to spend the most on self-gifts: $175.65 compared to $159.62 for those in their late teens and early 20s.
I am a self-gifter, but I also give to others. Here’s how I keep myself from going overboard on self-gifts.
1. Manage my expectations – It happens every year. I drop clues here and there and I still end up with things I don’t want or use. Oh, same thing happens to you? Learn to re-gift without getting caught. The worst is when I don’t make it on Santa’s list! And so I set out to help the big fella. I’ve learned throughout the years to lower my expectations when it comes to gifts so I won’t be disappointed and feel the need to compensate by self-gifting. This also helps me be more grateful when I receive a gift.
2. Set a self-gifting budget – If I walk around the mall for a couple of hours looking for gifts for others, I’m most likely to come back home with twice the gifts for myself. It’s the old “one for you, two for me” mentality. To cut down on costs I have a holiday budget for gifts I’m giving out and one for my gifts. Or else, I’m getting the bigger gift and that IS selfish.
3. Wants vs. Needs – I’m great at turning a want into a need so before buying anything for myself I have to go over my list of gifts. Do you really need the new mini iPad? Knowing your triggers is also helpful in keeping you on budget. Mine is technology. I allow myself a want when money permits, but usually stick to needs.
4. Give back – The best way to keep the green-eyed monster from creeping up is doing something for others during the holidays. I’ve found this brings me just as much satisfaction as spending money on items.
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