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Challenge–Earn Your Present


Admittedly Hunni and I are cheap thrifty shoppers.  I learned it from Momma but I have no clue where Hunni gets it from.  Most of our clothes are from Target and Old Navy and and we wear them until they fall apart.

What can I say…we love a bargain.  The only thing we really invest in are running shoes in order to prevent more back surgery for me and any injury for him.  The less we buy the less we have to move when our job switches.

Our frugal shopping is great for our budget at the time but when things fall apart we end up replacing them more often.  A rip here, a tear there and off we rush to Target picking up the latest model to hold us over until it breaks down too.

Not this time.  Hunni needs a new satchel to hold his agenda and all the other things boys need to carry around.  He’s has almost as much stuff as me to put in there.  His past three bags were cotton but this time he wants a leather one to last a lifetime longer than 6 months.  He picked a gorgeous model from Fossil.  Trust me we looked at lots of stores and he swooned when he saw the Jackson.



Sure it is beautiful but is also much more than we typically spend.  However from experience I know Hunni is hard on things he uses daily, his wallet, his cell phone, shoes, pants.  When we purchase quality they tend to last a lot longer than when we are cheap frugal.

Hunni wants a nice bag and he also wants to be healthier after struggling with his eating and exercise habits.  Heck I want to be healthier after dealing with this nasty calf tear for months and all these crazy allergy issues.

So we decided to make a challenge of it.  We both need a push in the right direction…especially around this time of year.  Challenging each other to earn our Christmas presents is great external motivation.

*Note: We don’t traditionally buy presents for each other.  These are specials presents.*

During the most crazy time of the year for us we are having a fitness challenge to earn our present.


Also waiting until Christmas will give us time to save.  Hunni wants his satchel but I had to think of something.  I thought long and hard.  Cole Haan high heels with Nike Technology…nah I don’t have a reason to wear heels that are that expensive.  A really nice dress…no place to go really.  Besides I like more variety in my wardrobe.  A treadmill…that would be great but is beyond the budget.

Eventually I settled on a Nook for my present.



The lady at Barnes and Noble – and my friend Meg – totally convinced me it is worth the money. I have a hard time getting to the store or library to pick out a book for trips or errands let along getting it back before the due date.  Ooops. Smile Also I really want to read more books in 2011 so this is a perfect gift for me.

The Christmas Challenge Gauntlet is thrown:

  • For each healthy decision made, one dollar is deposited into our holiday savings.
  • Healthy decisions include:
      • Eating at home instead of ordering take away
      • Exercising even on the busy days, to burn off steam
      • Drinking plenty of fluids, not just hot chocolate and coffee
      • Getting rest, even if it means leaving work on my desk or to-do list
      • When ordering take away, making a healthy choice (i.e. Sushi instead of Sweet and Sour Chicken)
      • Breathing…okay kidding.  But some days that should count.

Honestly any decisions this time of year are better than none at all.  We aren’t competing because I always win.  Really we are both winners.  No matter how many dollars we have saved throughout this challenge he’ll still get his satchel and I’ll get my nook.  The challenge is more for ourselves with a nice little external motivation when we have such external work pressure swirling around trying to derail us.

We’ll both be super happy on Christmas morning.  Kettles and toy drives will be over and the tree will have presents we want and worked for. Smile


What do you want to see under the tree?

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Toni permalink
    26/11/2010 10:08 AM

    We usually set a budget of around 100$ cause the holidays are just soooo expensive. Not only do we have to worry about x-mas gifts but it’s also our birthdays so it’s a total double wammy money-wise!

    • 26/11/2010 4:18 PM

      We normally don’t buy each other anything because we are do-ers more than things. For us this year they are both Christmas and Birthday too 😉

  2. 26/11/2010 10:26 AM

    What a good idea, and so nice that this is something you two can do together! I really don’t want anything but maybe a little financial support from my parents this holiday. I’ll feel guilty getting anything tangible when I’m still in debt :\ (mostly from having to book a crazy expensive flight home for the holidays!) My family knows not to expect much from me because I don’t have much to spare. Thinking about baking treats for everyone using cheap ingredients instead 🙂

    • 26/11/2010 4:20 PM

      I’ve been where you are. We don’t really buy gifts but for our mothers and my two young cousins. Everyone else gets a nice card because we tend to save over spend.

  3. 26/11/2010 3:50 PM

    What a fun idea!!! I wonder if I could convince my husband to do something like that? 😀 I would LOVE to get either the Insanity or TurboFire DVDs to have for post baby workouts. Those are #1 on my list by far!

    • 26/11/2010 4:19 PM

      You could try. I never thought he would agree to it. But he was really excited and we have both been working hard. Give it a go 🙂

  4. 26/11/2010 10:03 PM

    I love this idea! And I agree that there are some days when breathing should count.
    Do you really have your tree up already or is that an old picture?
    I think you will love the Nook. I started reading books on my iPhone this year and it really made a difference. I never have time to get to a book store, but I can browse Amazon and download a book in seconds. And, it really is easy to read on the screen.

    • 27/11/2010 10:10 AM

      No we really have the tree up. We put it up on Halloween. It was the only time to do it 😉

      I’ve tested out the Nook and it is so easy. Especially since some of the books I read are HUGE and hard to carry around to read for a few minutes while waiting for a meeting or appointment.

      And there are day coming soon where breathing definitely counts.

  5. Meg permalink
    29/11/2010 5:46 PM

    Yay! This is such a fantastic idea (thanks for the shout out in your blog). If all of our money wasn’t budgeted already, I’d say that Keith and I should do this type of challenge too. We have saved for our TV and are putting Christmas money towards it, so it will small Christmas as far as gift opening goes but we’ve wanted a hdtv for a long time so it will be worth it.

    Let me know when you get the Nook and we can start sharing books!

    • 29/11/2010 8:16 PM

      Thanks 🙂 We have been budgeting for this since we decided since we don’t normally purchase gifts. It’s been worth it for the extra push.


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