Everyone knows that the holidays are the busiest time of the year. When Thanksgiving hits, we all deal with a break in our routine that is a result from planning and/or attending holiday parties, going to family functions, and starting to buy gifts for everyone on your list.
This will be the first Christmas that my fiance and I will be spending together since we moved in together (and the last one as an unmarried couple…eek!). Though last year we combined funds and paid for presents for our family members, this year has brought new ideas and problems.
For many years, when it came to buying my parents gifts, my two siblings and I split the cost of the gift. Because we all use the same bank, making transfers between our bank accounts was pretty easy because with just one click or call, the money that we needed was sent to the person that was purchasing the gift.
This year, my siblings and I are probably not going to be doing that anymore. For the past couple of years, we have been purchasing individual gifts for our parents as my sister is married and I am soon to be. It just made more sense. Typically, I would focus on gifts for my mom while my sister and brother focused on my dad, since I had more ideas of gifts for women in their 50s.
My fiance and I do share a bank account but we typically don’t use the money in that account for anything but bills.
Recently, we began trying to come up with a way on how we are going to split the funds for getting gifts for everyone on our list. Our first ideas was to just “stick to our own”. He buys gifts for his family, and I buy gifts for mine. But that didn’t seem fair. We are a unit, so we should function like one.
Our second idea was to start delegating who was going to pay for what and then just balance out the funds. But that seemed way to complicated.
Then, we came up with the one plan that just seemed like a no-brainer = Square Cash.
Square Cash allowed us to send money to one another quickly when we need to pay for something. So, if I am in the store because I see a great sale (which I typically find) on a gift that we are planning to get for someone, then I can just send him a quick text or give him a call, and with one click on the app, he can send his half over to me.
This is also a great way to do things when buying gifts for other people so that they can give to someone else.
For example, my brother doesn’t do much shopping, so if I am at the mall and I see something that I know my mother wants, I can just give my brother a call, ask him if he has gotten it yet, and if he hasn’t, all he has to do is send me the money through Square Cash and I can make the purchase for him (which of course means I’m wrapping it to).
Square Cash makes purchasing gifts for everyone on your list so much easier. Here are a few tips that I used this season that allowed me to get my Christmas shopping done early and easily:
- Start early, and pay attention. I am one who loves surprising people but hates surprises. So, instead of asking people what they want for Christmas, I typically listen to my family and friends about what they say they need or have been looking to get for awhile. And then, I start to look around for where I can buy it and see when the sales are. The earlier you start, the more time you have to wait for a great sale to hit such as all the Black Friday sales.
- Share the responsibility. My tip for siblings, significant others, and even close friends is to communicate. My parents typically ask for one thing each for Christmas (except when my dad asks for a bunch of flannel shirts…). So typically, my two siblings and I go out and split the cost and split the responsibility. This can even work for not just buying things between siblings, but between significant others and friends. The main way to do this is make sure that you are using Square Cash to send money out quickly and get your shopping done in a responsible and cost saving way.
- Keep It Simple. I can’t tell you how many times I over thought a gift and the recipient ended up giving that fake “thank you” look that a person gives when he or she doesn’t really like the gift but doesn’t want to be rude. Just keep it simple. When my fiance says that he needs more sweaters, that’s exactly what I go out and get him. I don’t go out and try to put together a whole entire outfit that includes shoes that he probably already has, a pair a pants that looks exactly like the other ones, and a cologne that he doesn’t like the scent of. Or, when my mom asks for a perfume, I get her what she likes. I tried something different one year and she had to give it back because it made her skin break out.
- Keep track of what you are spending. There was one year where I didn’t track what I was spending and ended up not even having money for gas to get to my parents house to give the gifts to my family. I had to awkwardly call my dad and ask him for gas money. All I can say is that it was a very interesting conversation. With Square Cash, sending money between people is easy and it tracks all your spending. Giving you a way to go back to see what money you sent and what money you received. Especially because you don’t want to be the person that spent money that was given to you to buy a gift for someone else.
You can learn more about using Square Cash by heading here, and you can directly download the app to your phone to begin easily sending money [For iPhone // Google Play].
Square Cash is great not only for the holidays but even after for instances when you need to split the check between friends. So download the app now, and thank me later.