Blog ai whotobuy

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Gift

What’s your plan when you head out to go Christmas shopping?

Do you sit down with your husband or wife and make a detailed Christmas budget? Or do you just wing it?

Once you have your Christmas budget, how can you make sure you stay within your means? How can you make sure you aren’t dealing with a Christmas debt hangover come January?

You need a plan for your holiday shopping. To create that plan, start asking yourself these questions before you walk to the checkout counter or add an item to your online cart:

Am I overdoing it?

Another way to ask this question is: will I regret buying this next month? The worst thing you can do during the Christmas season is to put yourself in debt to buy a gift. If you’re going into debt for Christmas, then you’re overdoing it—plain and simple.  Be reasonable. Your wife might love the SUV with the bow on top, until she realizes you’re both $40,000 in debt.

Ny2013 bv budget1

Is this a genuine gift, or am I being passive aggressive?

For the love of all things, don’t be the husband who gives his wife a diet cookbook or a treadmill. And don’t be the mother-in-law who gives her daughter-in-law the new best-seller, 5 Ways to Be a Better Wife. If your plan is to give a passive-aggressive gift, it’s probably better just to give no gift at all.

Can I truly afford it?

It’s a similar question to the one above, and it’s purely practical. Let’s say you have a $200 Christmas budget. Can you afford that $250 necklace for your wife? No. You made a budget for a reason. Now stick to it!

Why am I buying this gift?

In other words, am I buying this because I feel obligated or because I really want to do something nice for the other person? If you’re buying out of obligation and simply going through the motions, maybe it’s time to take another look at your motives. If you’re stretched thin on your budget but still giving out of obligation, it’s time to reevaluate how many people are on your gift list.   

Is this gift really useful?

That’s a nice tie, but your brother wears ties once every ten years. And that birdfeeder? Your sister-in-law lives in a fifth-floor condo. If you’re just buying something to check off your list, then you’re buying out of obligation. Know the person who you are giving to, and know what would help make a difference—even a small one—in their life.

Be honest with yourself about your budget and your motives for giving this Christmas. Your budget and your stress level will thank you.

If you want to give a life-changing gift, see all that we have to offer in Dave Ramsey's store!

More from the Blog

Fall Fun for the Budget-Conscious Family

Since Dave Ramsey’s Facebook fans always have great ideas to share, we asked them how they enjoy fall activities without spending a fortune.

5 Leadership Lessons From Football Coaches

Some of the greatest leaders you’ll ever meet are football coaches. Here's a list of our top five.

Everything You Need to Know About Money in 20 Quick Tips

When it comes to money, we can all benefit from a few quick tips. Check out these 20 quick money lessons that might just transform your life.

7 Life Lessons from Truett Cathy

In honor of Truett Cathy’s life, here are seven principles he consistently demonstrated through the years—guidelines that will work in making a living and in building a life.

One Mom’s Secret to Paying Cash for a Home

Fourteen years ago, Lorena Mejia was a single mom working three jobs a day to pay a mortgage she could barely afford. Today, she’s the proud owner of a four-bedroom home she paid cash for.

6 Tactics of a Used Car Salesman

What are some of the most common sales tactics used on a car lot today? Learn how you can avoid these strategies and drive away with a car that fits your family and your budget.