Why I Hate Buying Gifts

Do you hate buying gifts as much as I do? Looking for the perfect gift is nerve-wracking and everything seems so expensive. I love my family, but I hate buying gifts.

Picking the perfect gift can be hard and it gives me anxiety. 

I never know what to get. I’d rather people tell me exactly what they want. I like to think of myself as a fairly observant guy, but my wife has to repeatedly say things like, “I’d love to have one of those”, for me to get the hint. My wife understands I know nothing about purses, shoes, or home decor.

I know that it’s the thought that counts, so when it comes to buying the perfect gift, I just try my best. Things would be way easier if people just asked for money. It’s the ultimate gift and can be used to buy practically anything.

Gifts always seem to cost more than what I’d normally be willing to spend.

I’m a frugal guy, so I look at price versus value. When I’m shopping I think, “Which do I like better? This product or the money in my bank account?”. There’s not a lot of things out there on the market that I think is worth the money.

I still use the iPad my family bought me in 2012. Also, I’ve been playing the same video game console since 2011 and I’m in no hurry to replace it. I’m the target demographic for pretty much every major video game that’s released, but they never seem worth the money, so I keep my money in my pocket.

Note: If you’re reading this and happen to work for Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo please feel free to send me a video game console to test out. I’ll give you my honest review. ? ?

My frugality is a major hurdle when buying gifts for others, but I know it’s not about me. It’s about the person I’m shopping for, so I fork over the dough.

I don’t like being pressured to spend my hard-earned money.

My personal philosophy is that my money is my money and it doesn’t belong to anyone else. I buy gifts for people because I care about them, not because I’m being pressured to do so or because society tells me it’s what I’m supposed to do.

Social pressure can be very difficult to overcome. There are people who would do almost anything to avoid the Salvation Army volunteer ringing the bell near the front of their local supermarket or shopping mall. They won’t even look them in the eyes.

I don’t avoid the volunteers. If I’m not in a giving mood, I keep it moving. If I am in the giving mood, I give what I’m comfortable giving. No one decides this for me. I make the decision for myself.

We were able to pay off $30,000 of debt in just 12 months, but we still have about $40,000 more of debt to pay off. Also, my wife has gone back to school for her Accounting degree and we’ve been paying her tuition out of our own pockets.

We have no interest in taking out more student loans. This has slowed down our debt repayment period some, but she’ll be graduating next year. We’re so close!

Consumerism can ruin things.

Gift-giving has become an essential part of birthdays, anniversaries, and the holidays. Some people judge how much you care about them based on what you buy them and how much it cost.

Stores often use this to their advantage and raise prices. Roses are always more expensive during Valentine’s Day because they know us guys can’t come home empty-handed. Luckily, I’m married to a woman that appreciates quality time along with the occasional reasonably priced gift. ?

I think people should show their love for one another by spending time together, picking up the phone and letting the other person know you’re thinking about them or making them a gift with your own hands. When I say pick up the phone, I’m talking about speaking with them, not texting. Bonus points for video chatting.

I don’t know the rules of gift-giving.

Where do you draw the line? Do you buy your mom a Valentine’s Day present? Should siblings buy each other birthday gifts even as adults living in different cities? What if they’re twins? That means they’re buying someone a birthday present on their birthday.

What about cousins and dear ol’ grandma? Do they get birthday and Christmas presents as well? Where does it end? No one has ever sat me down to explain any of this, so I just go with my gut.

I don’t care if my friends and family buy me gifts.

I don’t expect my family or friends to buy me presents or gifts. Most don’t. And I’m generally terrible at receiving gifts as I’d rather the person save their money. The material things aren’t really important to me. I also can’t get past the math. Why exchange gifts, when there are free ways to show somebody you care?

Things seem to be about businesses making money, not necessarily bringing people closer together. Maybe I’m an overly analytical scrooge who needs to loosen up the purse strings and spend a little cash. I guess only time will tell.