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Reluctant gift-giving

August 9th, 2006 at 09:36 am

This is what's so great about blogging. I started to write an entry about something simple and suddenly realized something deeper was going on. If I hadn't been writing about it, the insight wouldn't have happened.

This weekend I need to attend a wedding reception for a distant relative I hardly know. I probably wouldn't have gone, but I need to drive my mother. Since I'll be there, eating their food, I really need to give a gift. I figure on writing a check for $25.

The thing is, besides hardly knowing the guy, I have heard a lot about his financial blunders. He owes his father in the 5-figures, which his father has given up on getting back at this point. He still has student loans. And now he and his new bride are buying a built-to-order house in a new development. I have to say I'm a little miffed at giving him money when they'll probably end up blowing it. And when we could use the $25 ourselves. (Not to mention the $20 in gas for getting there and back.)

Also, recently at DH's job, a tenant came into the office and mentioned he was having trouble affording food. The ladies in the office knew DH visited with the guy pretty often, and wondered if he'd said anything to DH. DH's answer was no, in fact the guy often mentioned good deals he got at Aldi's. (The office ladies said "Aldi's is where the poor people go," and DH told them his wife shops there. Smile ) Also DH pointed out that the guy drives a 2005 car. (DH's is 1992.)

They started to talk about having some kind of a fund-raising drive for this tenant, and DH said no, he would not contribute. And I can't say I blame him!

I suddenly realized this morning that my point of view has turned around radically from last fall. See this entry:

stressless.savingadvice.com/2005/10/11/heartwarming-experien...

Last year I thought I knew that poorer people were more generous percentage-wise because they better understood need. This year I understand why people with more money might be reluctant to give.

This past year I've come to terms with what we can and can't afford. I'm very aware of what I'm giving up to reach our financial goals. When you can see that someone else isn't willing to do those things, you wonder why you should give them your hard-earned and hard-saved money when they are just going to keep living the same way.

Haven't become a Republican yet, though. Wink

5 Responses to “Reluctant gift-giving”

  1. ima saver Says:

    I understand completely. After paying rent, phone and electric for several years for my daughter, I realized she was never going to get a job or get responsible with her money. She had a refrigerator box size full of sweaters, but couldn't pay one bill. I gave up and give her nothing now. She does not talk to me anymore.

  2. LuckyRobin Says:

    Why don't you give the bride and groom a book on budgeting or combining finances or getting debt under control? Maybe they might benefit from that, you can feel you may not be throwing your money away, and its a gloriously passive agressive present (not a bad thing in this instance, LOL).

  3. StressLess Says:

    Ima, that's a sad situation. Maybe someday she'll realize that what you did was the best thing for her.

    Lucky, I did think of giving the bride "How to hide money from your husband," LOL! I can be passive-aggressive at times, but I don't know if I have the guts in this case. I do like his parents and grandmother, and wouldn't want to upset them. (Theoretically, I shouldn't know what I know about the money stuff.)

  4. princessperky Says:

    you do't have to know about the money to think a book on finances is a good gift, if you can find one you think helped you and your husband give it witha cute little 'thiese ideas have saved our marrage' or something honest but not direct 'you are idiots' and then you will be the slightly quirky giftgiver, not the mean one.

    kinda ranking you up with people who give bibles, or marriage counseling type books! quirky, but not always disliked.

  5. retire@50 Says:

    If you don't decide to give a financial book I would recommend The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton

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