How many wedding gifts should you buy?
Earlier this week, I wrote about the problem with trying to buy the perfect gift. Sticking with that gift theme, there's a question that's been on my mind: If you're invited to an engagement party, a bridal shower, and a wedding ceremony all for the same couple, and you attend all three, do you give a gift at each event?
See, I've been invited to a few weddings this year. And it seems like the etiquette "experts" all agree that each event requires a separate gift, according to tradition. Here are some examples from around the web:
"If I bring a gift to the bridal shower, should I still bring a gift to the wedding?" a question Peggy Post, co-author of the 18th edition of Emily Post's Etiquette is accustomed to answering. Her advice is, basically, that a shower gift is not a wedding gift. "I know some of these shower gifts are expensive, but be smart so you don't have to break the bank."
How to avoid binge-shopping
It seems contradictory, but I love being frugal and I also love spending money. Over the last few years, however, my love of frugality has outweighed my love of spending -- and it's been good for my savings.
Yes, it's OK to spend money sometimes. If you have it, and you're comfortable with your present and future finances, by all means, spend away. But a lot of us, including myself, spend when we shouldn't spend. It's to be expected, I think, in our consumer culture. I can't walk down my block without being sold something every minute or so, from billboards to petitioners to window sales.
Anyway, a couple of readers requested an article on how to avoid spending sprees. It's something I've been thinking about lately anyway, so this was a great reason to give the subject more thought and put something together.
How to spend your money
Yesterday, as I was otherwise occupied (I spent five hours writing a post about programmable thermostats, a post nobody will even like!), the conversation on Donna Freedman's article got a little cranky. Donna wrote about pinching pennies on some things so that she could splurge on others. In Donna's case, that meant a trip to England.
Tyler K., who's always a little cranky, wrote in response:
I'm just waiting for the post where someone's passion, the thing they're willing to scrimp on everything else so that they can afford, is a Range Rover. Or anything else but travel, really...It'd be fantastic to see someone write about not going to Europe so they could buy a luxury SUV...