Personal Finance Round-Up: Giving Thanks and the Gift of Experiences

christmas tree ornaments familyI’m all for spending money on things you care about, but most important in my life is spending on experience. Can you easily remember what gifts you gave and received last year? Me neither. But I’ll bet you can remember your aunt Silvia accidentally sitting on that fruitcake or your dad burning the turkey and having to order take-out for Thanksgiving dinner. That’s because memories aren’t created around stuff, they’re created around experiences. Life is memorable because of what happens in it.

Flexo of Consumerism Commentary recently wrote The Best Holiday Gift: A Shared Experience, where explains a study that concluded that money used to create experiences increases long-term happiness. This is one of the main reasons why you should consider giving an experience this holiday season. Take your family on a trip that they will never forget or do something out of the ordinary – even if it is in your own home or city. In the end, it will be money well spent.

The best stories come from experiences too. Check out these articles for further reading:

Filing Insurance Claims when Butterballs Become Fireballs []
This is a story you may be familiar with. Someone does the Thanksgiving cooking and loses track of time. The next thing you know, the bird is bursting in flames and the house is filled with smoke. Here are tips to help ease the pain when filing Thanksgiving mishap insurance claims.

How to Keep Your Thanksgiving Budget Thankfully Low [Get Rich Slowly]
Food prices are a point of stress in many households, and Thanksgiving, while not about the food, can’t be fully enjoyed without it. Take some time to plan and prepare for the costs so you can enjoy the holiday with your family.

5 Reasons You Should Never Buy a Video Game at Launch [Canadian Finance Blog]
New game releases are strategically planned around the holiday season because everyone knows a die-hard gamer and you’re typically bound to spend money for gifts. When tempted by the newest video game releases this Christmas, consider waiting until the hype has died down.

Santa Is a Waste Of Money [Enemy of Debt]
Traditions can be broken and sometimes should be – especially in a case where the tradition is costing you money and not bringing any value into your life. Is it time to forget about Santa?

Why I Hate Mail-In Rebates [Five Cent Nickel]
In an effort to save money this shopping season, you may come across and take advantage of some rebate programs. Rebates are strategic for retailers, so consider other options before buying something with hopes of reclaiming the cost through a rebate.

Why Financially Preparing for Christmas Now Will Save You Thousands [No Debt Plan]
Christmas is still over a month away, but according to history, Americans spend over $500 each year and many have likely already crossed that number. Christmas spending dipped for a couple of years but is supposed to rebound this year as people’s finances stabilize somewhat. Take a second look at your finances and reevaluate your financial goals. Is spending a large chunk of your income on gifts going to help you get where you want to be?

Deal Hunter: Top 10 Tips for Black Friday Shopping Virgins [Washington Post]
If you do plan to buy gifts this year, make sure to get them at the greatest price. These Black Friday tips can help you do just that.

Best Things to Buy in November [Be Frugal]
Certain items are produced and cleared during different times of the year. Here are some you should aim to get in November versus any other time of year to save the most.

Are Thrift Stores Just for Poor People? [Give Me Back My Five Bucks]
Looking out for yourself and saving money in any way possible can be a good financial plan. However, that’s not the case if the strategy hurts those around you. Some systems are put in place to help those with no other options, and taking advantage of them could take away from the people who need the help most.

The Curious Connection Between Guns and Credit Cards – Infographic [ReadyForZero]
As you prepare yourself for the holiday shopping sprees, think of the bears when you reach for your credit card…

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the shout to ReadyForZero guys!

  • Travis Pizel

    Thank you so much for including the link to my post at Enemy of Debt! Thanksgiving is truly my favorite holiday, and am so excited to celebrate it tomorrow. I completely agree that experiences are much more valuable than “things.” We have some good friends staying with us this week that moved to Kentucky a few months ago, and we are making this holiday one to remember forever!