Yesterday, one of my tasks was to mail my dad’s Father’s Day gift. He never needs a gift, of course, but for the past 8 years, I’ve been getting him the same exact thing.
A mix CD.
Okay, so it’s not really a mix CD anymore, since he just rips it to his computer and plays it in random order, taking away any hard work that might go into selecting the proper order for the music, but each year, I work to put together a CD of music that I think he will enjoy.
I locked myself into this in college. Two years in a row, I made him a CD for Father’s Day because I didn’t know what else to get him. I didn’t even realize I had done it until he commented how much he enjoyed it and looked forward to the next one. And the precedent was set. Sometimes I get him something else, but only if I see something that I know he will enjoy. Otherwise, he just gets the CD, which I think he likes the best anyway.
It’s become quite an operation to put together this set of music each year. I keep a playlist of songs that I think he will like and add to it throughout the year. It means that I have to listen to a lot of new music each year, but I can’t say that I mind all that much. It’s a thoughtful gift and very inexpensive.
I’m not sure what the CD cost, simply because I bought a package years ago. Easily under a dollar though. The envelope cost 99 cents. The card was the expensive part of this gift, at $2.99. Mailing was under $1.50. So for well under $10, I managed to give a gift that my dad will enjoy for years to come.
And now that 2009 is taken care of, it’s time to start hunting down music for next year’s CD.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.