Monday, March 24, 2008

Gift Dilema

I effectively moved out of the house when I went away to college. Since then, at any gift giving venture, my mom tends to transfer money into my bank account for presents. Usually it's accompanied with something like "I put X in your account. Use X for your birthday present and X for you to get you hair/nails done. Use the rest to take Gameboy out to dinner." She uses this method because we live across the country from each other. She'd prefer that I get money she would have used to ship things. When it comes to technical items she knows she doesn't know much and would rather I get something that meets my specifications.

Within 8 months this happened three times for graduation, Christmas, and birthday. I've used the money for my hair to get it done. The nail money goes towards debts. And some of the rest goes to lunch or dinner out. The problem is the actual present money. Before my birthday she asked what I wanted and I let her know it was a digital camera. Photography is a hobby of mine and I've been thinking about a digital camera for a while now. The amount of birthday money was appropriate for a nice mid range camera.

Here's the dilemma. While paying down debt it feels frivolous to spend a couple hundred on a camera. But it also feels wrong to use money she (or anyone for that matter) wanted me to spend on a specific item. The end result? Almost 1K sitting in a 'Sara's Funds' sub account on ING because I can't make a decision.

What do you think I should do?


spillingbuckets said...

If she were closer it sounds like you two would have gone shopping for a camera together and she would have gotten it not just given you cash. I think you should pretend that's what's happening here and buy the camera.

If you have close to $1k, then you don't have to spend it all - get a nice camera for $200-300, or less, and still put the rest on your debt. (best of both - you get a camera and rid of debt)

Depends on what kind of camera you wanted to get, some features cost a lot more, but most have come down in price a lot recently.

MRhé said...

I would treat yourself to the camera, unless you really feel like the $ would be better spent paying down debt. In that case I would ask your mom first if she minded if you put that money toward that instead. It's certainly not as fun but she should be happy that you're being responsible.

Then again...treat yourself!