Money at 30: 5 Gifts to Buy Yourself This Christmas

There are many reasons why holiday shopping can be a stressful process. For one, you may be inclined to worry that the gift you’re buying for someone might not live up to the one their securing for you. Add in packed malls, out of stock items, and delayed shipments and it’s easy to see why more and more people are beginning to hate the holidays. 

You know what might make you feel better? Getting yourself a present. I realize this is shocking advice coming from a personal finance blog but hear me out. First there are actually pretty decent sales going on that might make it the right time to buy something you’ve had your eye on. Plus there are always a few items that may be worth investing in if it means making your life a little bit better.

So, if you must splurge, spend your money wisely. These five practical ideas are perfect for self-gifting as they offer a little bit of treat and a little bit of payoff all in one:

Flannel sheets

Last year my in-laws introduced me to the magic of flannel sheets when they got us a set as a gift. This year my wife and I picked up another set, which came in pretty handy during the single digit weather we experienced this past weekend. Best of all with the extra warmth we were able to sleep soundly through the cold night without having to run the expensive heater. So if you live in a cold climate, I couldn’t recommend them more — just be sure to look for a good sale.

A vacation

Granted now might not be the best time for an actual vacation since most holiday travel is reserved for visiting family, but it is a good time to start planning your next getaway. Start researching your trip and setting aside money now so that you can not only find a great deal but also be able to pay for your bookings in full. That way, at some point during 2017, you’ll be able to take a nice, relaxing vacation without having to stress about money.


Speaking of traveling, having a nice piece of luggage is actually pretty underrated. While they can get pricey, finding a well-made item that also compliments the way you pack and travel is totally worth it. For example you might come across a smaller case that has enough pockets and other clever features to fit everything you need, thus saving you from having to check a bag. I also recommend a spinner bag (with four wheels as opposed to two) that makes it easier to navigate crowded airports and switchback lines.

Good food

Fun fact: you don’t need to dine out to eat well. And with the Internet at your fingertips you don’t even need to buy fancy cookbooks in order to create culinary treats. What you will need, however, are some good ingredients. If trying new foods and flavors is up your alley, maybe now is a good time to stock up on some supplies for your exciting recipe finds. In fact, while you might spend more up front for all of the ingredients, this move could save you money in the long run as you may start choosing to spend more nights in. 

Gift cards

For anything else you might be thinking about getting yourself now or in the coming months, it’s worth checking out what kind of deals retailers are offering on their gift cards. Several restaurants and stores have been known to run bonuses (e.g. get $30 in credit for only $25) during this time of year while others might give you extra loyalty rewards for your gift card purchase. Obviously you shouldn’t go crazy stocking up on gift cards in order to buy things you don’t need but, if there are some items you’ll be due to purchase soon, this could be a useful trick.

Believe it or not it there are worse things you can do than buy a present for yourself during the holidays. However just be sure that what you choose to treat yourself to is something you can actually use and that will improve your life in some way — bonus points if it will save you money down the road. And, as always, make sure that it fits into your budget! Merry Christmas!


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site and has recently starting publsihing his own personal finance blog at

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