It’s not exactly a new word to me. But I’m pretty sure I’d never actually used the word ‘predetermine’ in a sentence until my pastor referred to it recently—and that turned on a bright light in my noggin.
To predetermine is to make a decision in advance. That describes perfectly what it means to budget. You get your paycheck, and before you do anything with it, you predetermine where every dollar will go. You give each dollar a job to do— in advance. You predetermine.
Here we are on the cusp of one more glorious, fabulous, exciting, and joyful holiday season. How can we do this without going into debt? Predetermine. That’s it! Decide or establish in advance what you will do, how much you will spend, where you will go, what you will do.
Yes, I know that sounds very much like a spending plan, and it is. The way to get to a spending plan is to predetermine.
Take the gift-giving part of the season. How can we predetermine in that area?
First, Look at your gift list and predetermine how much money you have in cash to spend for each. Decide this fact. Plant it in your brain. Write it down or whatever else it takes to establish it in advance. Now you have a boundary—a line across which you will not step.
Find the perfect gift
Want to know a foolproof way to select the perfect gift for each of your giftees? Ask yourself, What does he or she really care about? What would this person say he or she could never have enough of?
For my husband, a hobby woodworker, the answer would come without hesitation: He could never have enough clamps. Every year, I make sure there are clamps under the tree for my favorite woodworker, and every year he says the same thing: “Oh, good. I can never have too many clamps!”
For me (not that you asked), I would have a long-ish Iist. I could never have too much coffee, fabric, skeins of yarn, knitting needles, kitchen shears or gadgets. When I find any of these things under the tree on Christmas morning, my reaction is the same. I’m over the moon because of course, I could never have too much or too many of that special thing.
I find it a lot of fun to figure out the answer to the question for those on my gift list. It awakens my inner private eye. The challenge, of course, is when the giftee’s passion lies in an area with which I am unfamiliar. I have to research, sleuth around, put myself in their shoes. What do they really enjoy so much they could never have too much or too many of?
Our grandsons would say, Pokemon! I know that not because I know anything about Pokemon merchandise but because I know them.
My late mother-in-law would say, “hot pads!” or “tablecloths!” I can hear her now. If I were to give you hot pads for Christmas, you’d be like … seriously? But not Gwen. She would be visibly thrilled and delighted.
Gift-giving takes on a new dimension of joy once you take the time to know what truly matters to your giftee. Once you have that information squared away, fulfilling within the constraints of #1 above makes gift-giving a highlight of the season, not a dreaded obligation.
Gift-giving takes on a new dimension of joy once you take the time to know what truly matters to your giftees. Once you have that information squared away, fulfilling within the constraints of #1 above makes gift-giving a highlight of the season, not a dreaded obligation.