My dad does not do much shopping or spending. But once in a year, usually as we near Christmas, he takes us for shopping.
We are always on the lookout of what he usually calls the go-to gift. We can choose anything we want to buy on that day, within reason. As long as we can have an explanation on how we are going to have a good use of the gift for at least the following year.
As my day usually says, “Anything goes… as long as it is utilitarian.”
As time goes and we continually embrace this tradition, we each devote time thinking about the quality purchase that we are going to make that will be functional for us in the next year, durable and useful. After all, we are only given one shot each year.
My go-gift some two years ago was a pair of leggings, as I have a passion for running and an avid runner. One other year it was a six-month membership at the gym. Another was a cocktail dress.
This previous Christmas, I sold him on a business casual outfit that I can wear to the office and also use to go out with friends.
The gift giving tradition by my dad has taught me to make quality investments in things that have value for life. Now, whenever I go shopping, rather than saving my money by buying the cheapest version of items that are upfront, I am inclined to spend more of my cash on something that will last for a more extended period and save more in the long run.
I have also become a very conscious shopper, buying more of the items that I need and less of what I want at that moment.
That is not to say that I do not plunge on my wants. To be clear, I spent $500 to participate in the New York City marathon, and I also pay $450 every year for travel credit card. I usually weigh the merits and demerits before I splurge and ensure that I am spending on the things that matter to me.
As research shows, how you spend your money matters and is often more important than how much you paid in total.