In Discussions, Discussions, Minimalism, Money

Are you easy to buy gifts for?

I am actually very easy to buy gifts for as long you don’t go off script 😛

I can give you a list of exactly what I want, and you should buy off that list because…. I will just not be happy seeing as I have done a ton of research on exactly what I want, and if you think buying a substitute that is LIKE that item is the same thing, it isn’t. It really isn’t.

It’s like saying a Canadian KitKat tastes the same as an American KitKat (eww, no). Canadian KitKats are the best, everyone know this. So don’t buy me an American one.

I’m also however, not someone who looks a gift horse in the mouth. I will very excitedly accept your present but then probably give it to someone who can use it more, or figure out a way to repurpose it so that it’s useful for me.

My partner is even more difficult than I. He doesn’t want anything. And if you buy something, you can be sure 99% of the time, it is something he DOES NOT WANT.

In conclusion, if we want anything, we will buy it ourselves.

Therefore, do not buy us anything, unless you are planning on making food for us to eat, and/or it is already on our approved list of “Things I Would Enjoy / Already Use“.

Keeping in line with all of this, it is how we have managed to stop giving gifts to people because we ourselves DO NOT want to receive any. Win-win.


We have achieved the coveted #Minimalist Level of: The No Gift Minimalist Christmas! NINJA LEVEL

My mother, has a real problem with this. She cannot help herself.

She WANTS to give a gift. She WANTS to spoil us. We ask her for money instead to put into Little Bun’s RESP or whatever, and she struggles so hard internally to NOT buy us ALL THE THINGS and to just give us money instead but she feels just so sad she can’t stand it.

She even gives us gifts and then we have to do the dreaded speech of “Mom, I can’t keep this gift because WE HAVE NO SPACE. I already said this! STOP buying us stuff. We don’t want any of it.” Then when you ask her for something like “oh find me some triangular crayons for Little Bun”, she goes and buys out the store and brings you a massive box. O_o

Therefore, last summer, amidst constant insistence that WE DO NOT WANT STUFF, she presented me a cheque for some money towards a piano for Little Bun because I conceded that I would like to buy a piano and I could play it along with teaching Little Bun how to play.

I have deposited the money safely in our account, earmarked for “Piano” and will buy one soon-ish once I can go and test out these pianos in person and pick the best one.


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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18 Comments

  1. E
    ENSJ

    I have a list. No one looks at the list, or if they do they don’t follow it.

    The list is as follows:

    A couple of films dvd or blu ray, don’t care)
    A couple of books (some titles I really want)
    Money (that I can save for something big ticket like a freezer, clothes, vacation…)
    Experiences (they take me out, show me something, give me a BONGO…)

    What do I get?

    A cd
    Socks
    Numerous things for decorative purposes while I already have my stuff and don’t need any more

    It kind of sucks, but I do hope that eventually they will realise that I really just want the things on my list and that anything else I get is going to be given away, sold or thrown out. Because I don’t have the room in my house and my mind to keep it.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      And that’s such a waste of money for me — the $10 they spent, why didn’t they just give you the money instead?

      Reply
  2. Jeannie

    I’m pretty easy to get gifts for, feed me and I’m happy. Most people know to just take me out for food instead of buying me a gift. I have a harder time buying others gifts actually. Luckily, my close circle of friends and family is quite good at telling me what they want.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Food is always welcome for me, but THINGS? No thanks. Stick to my list.

      Reply
  3. Cassie

    Your conversations with your mother sound basically identical to the ones we have every. single. year. It’s slowly getting better though.

    I realize that I’m getting harder and harder to shop for. For the most part, there’s nothing I want. Actually, I did tell my husband what I wanted: More time, more space, and less clutter. Not the easiest things to stuff in a gift bag. I do try to help though. Every year I create a Pinterest board with items I’m interested in. If they’re clothing items, I list the size and colour. He can literally click the link, buy it online, and never enter a single store. This year it’s mostly books. He’s not impressed with books as an idea.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      LOL!!!! “Books!? WHO WANTS BOOKS?”.. well.. 🙂

      Reply
  4. The Luxe Strategist

    You and me are one in the same. I’m a nightmare to shop for, unless you go off the list I gave you already 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I want very specific items in a specific colour and size, so you better just buy what I want.

      Reply
  5. PwedePadala

    Wait what? There’s a Canadian and American KitKats. I’m all in to free chocolates but because of this enigma, I’ll have to have a Canadian KitKat.

    For gifts: books and gadgets and kitchen gizmo (hint: dehydrator). For the rest, I would give it away in a “balikbayan box.” It would literally go a long way.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      You MUST try a Canadian KitKat. Totally creamier and less aggressively sweet.

      Reply
  6. A
    Anna

    It sounds like your Mother’s “Love Language” is Gift Giving. If you are not familiar with the concept of Love Languages, I recommend the book by Gary Chapman: The Five Love Languages. It explains how everyone has preferred ways to give and receive love.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I will read the book, but yes. My mother wants to feed, give gifts and give the shirt off her back.

      Reply
  7. l
    liteadventurer

    Easy way to get people to stop giving you unwanted stuff: when they ask you in February how you’re enjoying your Christmas gift, tell them you had no space to put it, so you donated it to charity. After doing this a few times, the unwanted gifts will stop. My mom eventually stopped buying me random household items I had no use for once she discovered I was unloading them to Goodwill.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      We had to do this with a few of her items, or we just.. gave..it..back..to.. my mother.

      Reply
  8. S
    Sense

    I am like you–I like very specific things and when I want something, I research it to find the thing that exactly matches what I need it for, and then I save up and just buy it. Or, if it is something that isn’t a need but more of a want, it goes a on a ‘wants’ list, and I give that list to my mom when she asks what I want for Christmas, etc.

    However, I like it when people give me stuff that they think I’ll like that isn’t on my list–my friend, for example, drew some artwork related to my PhD and is writing me a story to go along with it, featuring me as the main character. I love that!

    My other friend gave me a box of my favorite American foods that I can’t find here in NZ, that she brought back from the US. So thoughtful!

    And I regularly give strong hints about things I really like in an effort to make shopping for me easier: e.g. when we are shopping in Lovisa, I’ll rave about their silver range ad nauseum (I love 99% of of their silver range of jewelry). Or I’ll go on and on about a favorite flavor of tea (Harney’s Hot Cinnamon or peppermint) when I am around friends drinking it. I would like to think I’m easy to shop for if someone is paying attention…but that is the trick–someone has to be paying attention. :/

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Okay that is a special gift — a homemade one like a story and you as the character, I would NOT say no to that. But most people don’t do homemade gifts like that.

      I’m pretty darn easy to shop for.. if you just use my list or re-buy what I already use. 😛

      Reply
      1. E
        ENSJ

        I almost always do homemade gifts for people (or experiences).

        I have a limited budget so I often give them home made food stuffs, treat them to homecooked party dinner, take them out to a fun place, give them a large sketch or drawing, give them a book I wrote just for them,…
        Unless I know they have a list and it’s an item I can afford I stick to these routines.

        Reply
        1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          Agreed — I don’t really enjoy gifts to be honest unless they are EXACTLY what I wanted which rarely happens.

          Reply

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