Welcome Consumerist readers. Not that I expect many of you to stay. Still, it’s always fun to be reading through my feeds, and find my site linked!
With the holidays fast approaching, I’ve been thinking about Christmas shopping. In my family, we always make wishlists so we know what to buy each other. Sure, there are always surprises (my sister is going to be amazed with what I bought her this year), but sometimes, you want to buy a gift for someone, but don’t know what to get. I would prefer to remove some of the surprise but know that what I bought was wanted and enjoyed. That’s more important to me than surprising someone.
Sometimes, this is hard though. Having just moved, my wishlist is mostly things like “a leaf blower” and “Home Depot gift cards so I can buy paint.” Not the most exciting thing. And I’m getting family reactions to that. “These aren’t fun gifts!” True, but they are things that will make me happy.
How do you feel about practical gifts? Do you prefer to give something that you know will be used again and again, or do you go for the one time “Wow” factor?
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.