Don’t go into debt to show mom you care
Let’s face it. For Mother’s Day, Mom would love a spa day, fancy meal or an all-inclusive week on a Caribbean island with only her umbrella drink and trashy novel to keep her company. Who wouldn’t?
What she wouldn’t love is for you to deepen your debt on her account. What Mom wants, and has always wanted, is your well-being. And that includes your financial well-being. A 2013 BMO survey showed that Canadians plan to spend an average of $107 on Mother’s Day, and with half of Canadians living paycheque-to-paycheque, there’s a good chance that amount could end up on credit cards. So leave your credit card at home, avoid paying interest on your gift to mom, and think outside the gift box.
It really is the thought that counts
Although that sounds trite, when it comes to Mother’s Day, it is 100 per cent true.
“Your parents were most likely your first teachers when it comes to money management,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada. “Instead of overspending on gifts that she may not even want or need, remember the lessons they taught you about money. Also consider the spirit of the holiday. It’s about honouring and respecting what your mom has done for you. Real appreciation comes from deep in your heart, not deep in your pockets.”
So, how can you celebrate a frugal Mother’s Day?
Hitting the mall?
If you are set on buying a traditional gift, be proactive and plan ahead. Nothing encourages wasteful spending than scrambling to the mall at the last minute. Chances are you will spend way too much or even buy something that she neither needs nor wants.
Planning ahead will give you time to consider potential gifts, and to try to allocate room in your budget.
DIY Mother’s Day
The best Mother’s Day gifts are the cards and crafts that kids make when they are young. While your mother may not be as impressed with a homemade card adorned with macaroni if you are a grown-up, the spirit still exists.
Do something DIY for Mom. Put together a scrapbook of favourite family memories or her (or your) favourite recipes. Construct a gift basket with baked goods or other yummy homemade treats. Put together a homemade spa set with candles, lotions, homemade soaps and a bottle of wine.
Give the gift of you
No, we don’t mean you, with a bow around your neck. Offer your services to Mom however she needs them. Maybe she’d like to re-paint her house. Maybe she needs some yard work done. It’s probably not easy for her to ask for help (particularly if you have family, work or other demands of your own), so make it easy and guilt-free for her.
Give the gift of time
As you grow up and have your own interests/family/job, your time with your Mom will diminish- and chances are she misses you.
Give her your undivided attention and/or company to do something that she really loves. Let her pick. Whether it’s going out for a leisurely cup of coffee, an afternoon of window shopping, a round of golf- getting to spend time with you is a gift in itself.
Do you find gift-giving holidays like Mother’s Day stressful, because your lack of cash flow means you are coming up short? Maybe it’s time to take a look at your debt load to see if some of that stress could be alleviated. Call today to speak to a trained credit counsellor to find out how or try our Free Debt Analysis online and a counsellor will reach out to you.