A few bucks or a few hundred bucks. If you’re among the spoilt few who come away from the holidays with a windfall you will face the inevitable dilemma: now what do I spend this on?
Being married for our first christmas cash bonus has proven interesting already. Free, unbudgetted money has lead to a number of complex (and occasionally conflicting) ideas about where to put all that bling. In one perspective you don’t want to be frivilous. It’s a chance to weave a little bit of holiday illogic into the practical budget of everyday spending.
Of course, the cash can’t go to rent or food, really. It’s out of spirit.
But you also can’t blow it on something completely outrageous: you’ll just have something pointless and still be left with a burning turn for nothingness.
Pondering this has become some sort of logical dilemma for me, so I need to propose a few simple rules about Chistmas Ca$h spending:
Rule 1: Christmas cash should only be spent on Boxing Day if the item puchased has been predetermined prior to the windfall.
Rule 2: Item purchased should not fall into the category of “survival needs” such as food and shelter, unless subject to the following sub-circumstances:
Rule 2.1: Your health/life/budget is dependent on this cash to meet these minimum basic requirements.
Rule 2.2: Your “shelter” costs are budgetted towards a new purchase of real estate and the christmas cash will help you to obtain this quicker.
Rule 2.3: Food purchased is considered “extravagant” and/or a special treat.
Rule 3: Item purchased should not be considered by the purchaser as unneccesary, as in: “I’m only buying this BECAUSE I got Christmas cash, otherwise I would not have even considered it.”
Rule 4: Purchased item should considered a “positive adjustment” to your existing budget and should contribute to the furthering of your financial situation.
Rule 5: Giver of cash should be informed (but not consulted) on the item in question.
Some ideas that have crossed my path for my current Christmas cash stash (these, of the most part, meet with the above rules):
– Climbing gym passes for Karin and myself.
– investing some for a down-payment on a new house.
– CD/mp3 player to replace my existing but ailing one (or even something like this)
– new running shoes
– a filing cabinet (though this might wait until AFTER we move)
– DVDs such as this, this, or this.
– sushi (always with the sushi!)
Or, I could stop being such a commercialized-tool and write a sarcastic blog to over-analyze the whole thing.