I’ll admit it, I feel some type of way about hallmark holidays. You know, those holidays that exist for commercial retail purposes. I don’t have anything against acknowledging loved ones for days like Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Sweetest Day, Valentine’s Day, etc.
But I know that if retailers had it their way, every day would be some sort of holiday.
That’s why you hear about silly days like National Donut Day or Taco Day on social media. I’m all for celebrating what I love and appreciate, but I’m not going to spend a fortune to do it.
It’s so easy to spend a ton of money on a holiday like Christmas so I save for it year-round. If I were to spend that kind of money or even a fraction of it on all the other smaller holidays, I’d rack up quite a bit of debt because I wouldn’t be able to afford it.
I don’t go overboard for Hallmark holidays because I don’t want to spend that kind of money to contribute to a huge total like that and I can’t afford to anyway.
Here are some reasons why my family avoids overspending for smaller holidays and what we do instead.
The Greeting Cards are Overrated
If you want to resist overindulging in consumerism for a Hallmark holiday, one of the best things to do is skip the Hallmark cards. Greeting cards can be a nice sentiment but the effect is short-lived and they can also create clutter.
Some people like collecting cards which is perfectly fine. If you’re organized and truly cherish the card and want to keep a memory, I say go for it. However, most of us read the card for a few minutes, say thank you, then chuck it in the corner somewhere where it eventually gets thrown away.
If not, there’s a bunch of random cards under the couch, in the dresser, or stashed away in a clutter pile. Instead of buying a ton of greeting cards each year for sentiment, my husband and I tell each other sweet things and how much we mean to each other.
I’ve even found that writing small handwritten notes is more valuable for us and it saves money. Holiday cards can be so expensive these days almost to the point where it makes more sense to buy a gift than a $7 card.Hallmark holidays are overrated. Save money for real holidays instead. Click To Tweet
Many of the Gift Sets Are Cheap
I’m going on my 6th year of being in a relationship with my husband and I’ve already run out of gift ideas for him when it comes to the small consumer holidays like Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day.
I used to purchase small gift baskets for my son for Valentine’s Day. Then I realized that most of the trinkets I got him got lost or broken anyway. He doesn’t even remember receiving the gifts and I don’t remember giving it to him.
Most of the gift sets I see in stores are pretty cheap and thoughtless. To me, it’s just a nice gesture to let the person know you’re thinking about him or her.
While the thought does count, I’d rather make memories with my loved ones. I’d rather talk to them and get to learn more about their needs and interests. At that point, I’d know what they’d really want and cherish if I were to get them a gift.
For example, I knew my husband could use new tires so instead of buying him a bunch of useless cheap crap for Father’s Day, I committed to budgeting and making some extra money to help him pay for some new tires for his car in cash.
Restaurants Are Crowded and Pricey
I think this is the same for most holidays. Everyone wants to go out to eat and the restaurants become packed. Dining out is definitely going to increase your expenses but it’s okay to do every now and then.
We eat at home most days so we save a lot of money there. We usually cook with family for bigger holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.
For smaller, Hallmark holidays my husband or I might do some light cooking or grill something in order to give the other person a break. We also try buffets because you can get a ton of food and spend no more than $10 per person in most cases.
It Doesn’t Align With My End Goal
Ultimately, spending a ton of money on smaller Hallmark holidays just doesn’t align with my end goal for my finances. I’m trying to reach financial independence eventually. To do that, I need to pay off the rest of my debt and save and invest like crazy.
When I get to the age when I want to reach financial independence, it won’t matter if I received a giant 6ft teddy bear for Valentine’s Day or if my husband got some new shoes for Father’s Day one year.
We won’t really remember those smaller moments that center around material things. Many of the manmade holidays were designed by retailers to guilt consumers into spending more money.
We stick to a budget for the most part. We only go all out for Christmas and birthday’s to make each other feel special. Plus, each day is an opportunity to show or tell someone who much they mean to you and that you appreciate them.
You don’t need a holiday to do that.
What are your thoughts on Hallmark holidays? Do you celebrate them or not? Do you tend to get caught up in the trap to spend more than necessary?