One of the most valuable lessons I ever learned in my life is to buy gift items ahead of the time before I actually need them. All of us experience the necessity of giving gifts to friends and family members for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries or other special occasions. I have found it to be a valuable habit to buy ahead. I learned this valuable lesson from a friend of mine several years ago. Please allow me to tell you the story of how it happened.
Many years ago a group of us met at a friend’s house to have dinner one night and play games. After an enjoyable meal together, the women visited while we men played Monopoly. The host asked me to get the Monopoly game from the closet. When I opened the closet door, I noticed there were a lot presents on the top shelf that were all already wrapped. I asked the host’s wife if she were getting ready to have a party. She casually answered, “No, I just have those ready for when I do need them.” She explained that rather than having to stop what she was doing to go “panic shopping” at the last minute, she found that it was far better to plan ahead and have some gifts ready ahead of time because it cut down on stress and confusion. I thought that was a great idea!
Stores are counting on all of us being irresponsible. If you go into a store at the last minute to purchase something, you will probably pay more for it than if you get it during a sale. Stores advertise certain items greatly reduced in price just to lure you in. Everyone knows that the whole purpose of a sale is to get you to come into the store and while you are there to buy other items as well. Why not take advantage of a sale ahead of time? If you see an item that has been reduced and you think it is a good deal, go ahead and buy it. I can assure you that in just a few weeks it will come in handy. It will soon be the perfect gift for a friend or family member who is celebrating a special occasion.
I would also encourage you to get some wrapping paper, tape and a pair of scissors. I always keep some in my office and at home. When I purchase a present, I will usually wrap it and have it ready in anticipation of upcoming events. Rather than having to go out and purchase additional items at the last minute, it makes life so much easier to have everything ready in advance at your fingertips.
A word of caution and warning is necessary! If you buy perfume, cologne or other toiletries, it is possible that after a while they may become rancid. Naturally you also know that any food items could go bad over a period of time. But, for the most part, I am talking about items that would not perish.
Another benefit is that sometimes there is a two-for-one sale. I have found that if I purchase two books, for example, for the price of one, I will have two good gifts that I can give to two different friends. This is not about being cheap and it is not about trying to cut corners. It is about being wise, getting the most for your money, the most out of your time, and most of all, reducing stress in your personal life.
Buying ahead and having presents for my family and friends is one of the best habits I have ever developed. There is no telling how much money and time I have saved and how much stress I have eliminated from my life with this one simple idea! I have even had my daughters come look through my “stash” after stores are closed to look through my gift assortments! There is no end to children or grandchildren’s birthday parties!
I will always be grateful for being asked to open the closet door to get the Monopoly game. When I opened that door, it opened a whole new idea for me. Who knows, the next door you open may have a great idea behind it, too!
Tip: Buy ahead!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm