The family and I are looking at all ways to reduce spending. Gift giving quickly comes to mind, certainly with the holiday season not being far off and it being a big spending time of the year. This can be managed pretty easy but setting limits and sticking to them. I started to think about the other gifts that we give during the year. Birthdays are another top one. As adults my wife and I have no problem skipping exchanging gifts, but always provide for the kids. I really started to think about all the Birthday parties that the kids get invited to for classmates that we spend money on. Birthday parties are not your typically come over to my house for cake and some games these days. The parties themselves carry a big price tag and we often give gifts in the $20-$25 range.
There is also all the gift giving to just about everyone these days, teachers, teachers aids, bus drivers, garbage men, mail carriers, etc I'm not sure when this changed but it seems like these days during the Holidays they all get gifts and always at the end of the school year for the teachers and bus drivers. I don't recall when I was a kid my parents giving as many gifts to these people as I do today. The gifts are usually cash or a gift card. I'm more then willing to chip in, but if I'm looking to save money and struggling to pay debt why should I feel obligated to get gifts for people who are already being paid for their job. I hope my contribution or lack there of doesn't affect the education or service I receive.
I wonder what your thoughts are on gift giving for the likes of teachers, bus drivers, mail carriers, etc