Giving gifts of sentimental value

It is the time of year for gift giving. I have always been a sentimental gift giver. At times this has been well received. At other times this has been scoffed at. I continue to do it because it feels awesome – to both give and receive sentimental gifts.

Last Christmas I wrote about how my family has always been one of giving and receiving homemade gifts. This has always been fun. So much thought and meaning goes into these! This season, I am reminded of a dear, dear friend who gifted me with amazingly valuable gifts.

This friend and mentor gave me a shoulder to lean in when times were tough – and I offered her the same in return. A retired teacher, she taught me a great deal about teaching, relationships, and life. One gift was a musical Christmas ornament – which plays Silent Night, my favorite. As I pulled this ornament out of its box today, I was reminded of the wonderful gift of her friendship!

Our friendship was one of the best gifts I have ever received!

One day, she placed a small velvet pouch in my palm and said, “you cannot refuse this as my gift to you.” Puzzled, I opened the pouch and found this beautiful gold pendent with diamonds and a pearl. She said, “The pearl represents all of the pains, sorrows, and turmoils that make you the beautiful woman you are. The diamonds represent each of the unimaginable accomplishments you will achieve.” I am not one to cry, but I teared up.

While this gift is monetarily valuable, the meaning behind it makes it a gift that I will cherish for a lifetime.

What are some of the valuable and most sentimental gifts you have received?

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Personal training is expensive!

People spend triple on their cable than they are willing to spend on fitness!

I’ve been thinking about the cost of personal and small group training.

Is it too expensive?

No.

Not really.

I was recently asked for my recommendation – she was willing to spend $30/month for a gym with classes and kickboxing. I had no solid recommendations – as those facilities do not offer programs that I would generally recommend. I offered some guidelines for what to ask, such as are the instructors certified?, but I didn’t have much to say.

Prioritized spending

The average American spends $86 per month on cable (does not include internet or phone).

Fifty-six percent of Americans have a smartphone – average cost is $200 for the phone (with a 2-year contract) and $71 a month – versus $36 per month for those “dumb” phones (from the CTIA Wireless Association).

The average American adult spends $2295 a year on alcohol.

Read 10 Things Americans Waste Money On.

A little perspective

Compare this to what she is willing to spend on fitness.

$30 x 12 months = $360 a year.

Wow.

$852 or more a year for a cell phone. $2296 a year for alcohol. A measly $360 a year for fitness.

This makes me sad.

Life costs money

Please do not get me wrong, I do realize personal training can be expensive. That is why I choose to offer different levels of service. Small group training and classes make fitness more affordable. As to not be a hypocrite, let me be honest with you.

Do I have a smartphone? Yes. And I could probably do without, but it would make some of my business dealings more difficult.

Do I have cable? No. I do not even own a television.

Do I buy alcohol? Rarely. I do not have an iPad or tablet. I rarely eat out – eating healthy at home saves money and calories.

My frivolous spending is limited to coffee (black, no fru-fru drinks) and the occasional pair of shoes (which I have to be able to wear for work).

The bottomline

I am not saying that everyone can afford personal training and should hire a personal trainer. There are many individuals out there who truly cannot afford it. I am just sharing a little perspective.

Think about where you spend your hard-earned money – is this spending improving the quality of your life?

And as always, if you are working with or thinking about working with a trainer, make sure he or she is a qualified professional.

Like what you read? Please visit me at Better By Becca!