Happy Mother’s Day! Like most people, we so enjoy showering love on our moms on Mother’s Day. But holidays and birthdays bring up a bit of hesitancy these days since we adopted our frugal living lifestyle on January 1st of this year. Society says we’re obligated to give gifts, and we love to shower our loved ones with gifts. But we’re also on a super-strict budget, and have to find ways to be creative about gift-giving if we’re ever going to get out of our massive hole of debt.
So this year for Mother’s Day, we decided to fix our moms a nice meal, and forego the gifts. Our original plan was to pick them each up a nice card as I shopped at the local Walmart, where prices are generally cheaper.
I browsed through the greeting card section. I found a couple of really nice cards that expressed the sentiment of love we feel for our moms: $4.97 and $4.99, respectively.
Ok…… on to plan “B”. I found some so-so cards that really could’ve used a bit more creativity but would do. Cost? $4.97.
I couldn’t even find a crummy card for less than $5, much less a nice one!!!
Then, decision time and the conversation that I always have with myself followed:
Is it worth it? Yes, it’s worth it. We love our moms and want them to know it.
Is it a smart spend? Absolutely not! $15 for cards (2 moms and a stepmom who is also the best, like our “real” moms) We are seriously in debt here!!
Is there another way we can show our moms we love them? Yes, a million other ways that don’t include $5 for a card that will be read and then sit in a drawer or thrown away, only to likely be never looked at again.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not against greeting cards in general. If we didn’t have a massive debt-to-income ratio right now and an ungodly amount of debt, we would’ve spent that money in a New York minute. But we do have debt – lots of it.
And buying those cards would’ve been living above our means in a way. If you’re in a situation like ours, where you’ve got lots of consumer and other debt, you’re living dangerously. A layoff, illness or other situation could bring your house of financial cards tumbling down real quick, leading to all other sorts of trouble.
Don’t deceive yourself and say “It’s only $10”, or $15, or $50. Because it’s more than that. It’s one more hour, day, week that you’ve got to spend under the burden of other people choosing where you work and what you do and don’t do. And you deserve better.
In the end, we opted for homemade cards and the meal. We got to share a nice meal with them, some talking and laughing time, some cherished time with our moms that was absolutely wonderful.
And we “earned” $15 toward getting out of debt and building our wealth. And that choice will allow us to sooner be in a place where we can choose to spend more time with our loved ones.