This Christmas, I was more focused on spending time with friends and family that the commercialism of the season, for the first time ever. Forever, ever.
I bought everyone on my gift list a voucher for somewhere I knew they’d spend money anyway and then just got on with having drinkies and sing-songs with family, cry-laughing while baking with Mr M and enjoying frosty walks with my dog. It was great. Apart from the bit where we all got the Winter vomiting bug. That bit was pretty bad. But the rest was great.
When people asked me what I wanted, I said ‘nothing’. And I genuinely meant it. I was happy to receive nothing, especially if it meant that the person asking and I had some time together. These Minimalist podcasts are killing the material girl within, seriously. Who even I am anymore? This is not the girl who used to ‘beat the system’ by always ordering over £50 of items from Topshop to get free delivery.
Regardless, Mr M and I ended up with a whole host of gift cards and vouchers, and I’m really excited to use them. The best ones are the restaurant vouchers for all of the places we wanted to try but found it hard to justify whilst all of our money is going towards debt and what we have left is a barren wasteland of despair and eBaying. We have a small amount set aside every month for going out (the robot within calls this section of the budget ‘Entertainment’). So what we are going to do is use the vouchers and as we do so, transfer the same value of money from our entertainment fund towards our debts, seeing as, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, the one thing I want more than anything is to be debt free. Dave Ramsey, you broke me!
So I got thinking that we should do this for other people too, in a way. What I’m planning on next month for a family member’s birthday is to buy them a Netflix gift card to pay their bill for six months, freeing up the money they would have spent for something they’d prefer more. I know this is a tiny bill but if someone paid it for me and freed up a tenner, I’d probably use it (assuming I’m not on the dreading debt free journey) for a coupla fancy coffees, or breakfast at St George’s Market (if you live in Belfast, you will know that this place on a Saturday is the best spot for breakfast baps, buns and anything brunchy).
I don’t know what this particular family member would spent a tenner on, which is kind of the point. I don’t want to buy them some arbitrary gesture, some ‘thing’ that they may or may not like, that they might feel obligated to use or store. But I do know they have Netflix. So this gift is the gift of taking that payment out of the equation, and hopefully they will use the money to do something they would prefer to spend it on every month for a little while.
I know this idea isn’t for everyone but I’m all for someone else paying my bills, so all I can do is give it a go. I’d love to know if you do something similar in the comments below so hit me up!