Instead of putting together a list of frugal Christmas gifts, I wanted to highlight a few gifts that might just put you over the edge financially. You might not see this list on other sites because it’s not always fun to talk about what will cost you $$$, but I’m not here to sugarcoat it : )
Gifts that might break the bank
Have you heard this yet… Mom, Dad, can we get a puppy? Not only are animals a big responsibility, they can be costly. Sure, you can get an animal for a good price, but the expenses don’t stop there. This is gift that keeps on costing : ) A pet can be a lot of fun, but if you’re not ready to take on all the extra costs, try thinking of another option. (Funny note – We just added a new member to our family, so I’m very aware of these costs….I will definitely highlight the real costs of a puppy this week.)
iPad or Laptop
Black Friday and after Christmas sales are actually a great time to purchase electronics if you know what you’re looking for. Yes, the iPad or a laptop may be on sale but $500 is still $500… You may have a HUGE Christmas budget, and $500 for one gift may not set you back much, but be careful not to get caught up in the rush of buying and get that iPad or laptop if your finances aren’t in shape.
Flat Screen TV
Prices have come down significantly over the last few years since flat screen TVs debuted. Although you could find a great deal for a flat screen, be sure to add in all the extra costs you’ll convince yourself to look at – surround sound, HDMI cables, blu-ray player (gotta have high-def videos if you’re going to have a high-def TV, right?) I’m not saying you shouldn’t get a TV…but it’s still going to be a large expense to plan for.
Eesh…now this can be pricey. If you were needing a new vehicle, you might just find a great deal on a used car (or new – but I prefer used). The new models are out, and the new year is around the corner, which can give you an advantage when negotiating. Just like the TV, be aware of the added costs that come with a new car – taxes, plates, registration.
If 2011 is the year that you want to get in shape, be careful when it comes to gym memberships. Have you paid for one before and never used it? If so, ask yourself what is different about this year. Adding an extra expense of $50-$100 per month is expensive for some and you might benefit just as much by using less-expensive alternatives. Try an in-home workout like P90X or simply run outside.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t get any of these gifts for someone this year. I just wanted to bring to light the hidden costs that are often ‘conveniently’ left out of the sticker price.
If you want a few great gift ideas, take a look at this list from Bible Money Matters – The Great Big List Of 75 Frugal Gifts You Can Give This Christmas
Have you started saving for your Christmas yet? Can you think of any other big ticket items that might be a little too much this year?