My 3 rules on receiving cash gifts! (Hint: re-gifting’s a no-no)

by J. Money - Published December 15, 2008

3 rules on cash giftsI recently got a most-exciting xmas gift from the mother-in-law: a $100 shopping spree!

Saaawweeeeeeeeeeeet, gotta love that :) Nice and early too! She’s since given up on trying to read our minds, and now likes to give us cash so we can get something we really want ourselves.

I have no idea what i’m gonna use my $100 for, but it did remind me of a few rules i set up for myself a few years back. It’s not like i’m a rule-natzi by any means, but if i don’t get my mind right i’ll over-think the hell out of it and forget it’s supposed be an enjoyable experience…i guess this is a down fall of being both A.D.H.D. and frugal ;)

It usually goes a little something like this:

  1. Always make sure to spend it on yourself! This may sound selfish, but i’m a firm believer of not re-gifting cash gifts. I feel like it’s important because the giver obviously wanted you to pick out something nice for yourself. Unless i was debt-ridden or extremely strapped for cash, I wouldn’t feel comfortable spending it on others for gifts or anything of that nature.
  2. Buy something you’ve always wanted, but are too frugal to get yourself. This is my *favorite* rule because it’s the only time i allow myself to just get whatever i want w/out having to worry about the consequences! Being frugal is great, but you need a break from it every now and then. Sometimes it’s still hard, but i usually try to think of it as if the person actually handed me over the item i wanna buy, instead of the cash behind it….this way i can get totally excited and be like, “wow, you are an AMAZING gift giver!” instead of “Wow…i just spent $xxx.xx on THAT?”. All a matter of your mentality really…
  3. Keep the money separated from all others. This helps your brain deal w/ the above. If you’re anything like me, it’s a lost cause once the money gets intermingled with my bank account or with my everyday budget. Keeping this present money in a separate part of your wallet or purse, or even in a jar somewhere @ home helps to get your mind right.
  4. *Bonus* Tell the gifter what you got! This one’s brought to you by my girl Dawn over at Fighting Foreclosure: “make sure to tell the person what they bought you and why you love it. Cash gifts in particular (in my opinion) deserve a thank you note, email or phone call, to tell the giver what an awesome, amazing gift they just gave.”

I think i have some other rules too, but those are the main ones i try to follow. Now it’s just a matter of finding something i want really bad! Ever since starting this blog my shopping has been cut in half, so i’ll have to get back out there and look around ;) I just have to remember to get all my xmas shopping down FIRST before i start thinkin’ about myself…and luckily i’ve finally started! I ordered those wedding pics. books i mentioned in my holiday budget post last week.

Do you all have rules on this stuff? Would you use the money to buy gifts for other people? Or am i just a big ol’ nut bag today? haha…don’t answer that last one ;)


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Jay loves talking about money, experimenting, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his two beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at Thanks for reading the blog!

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