Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Present for the Holidays

Personal Finance bloggers, including myself, have pointed out in the past the wastefulness of buying Christmas presents. Economist Joel Waldfogel has written an entire book on the subject. He points out that you wouldn’t buy a $50 item for yourself unless it was worth $50 to you. It is entirely likely though that you will receive gifts that are of little to no value to you despite the fact that the giver spent considerable money on the gift. If you eliminate gift giving you eliminate this waste. I haven’t read the book but apparently he does offer some solutions other than just stop giving gifts. I don’t plan on buying the book but it is nice to see an economist shares my view on the wastefulness of Christmas gift giving. As a frugal person I abhor waste.

Despite my views I will probably be buying at least a couple of Christmas gifts. Some people don’t believe me when I say I don’t want anything and then I need to reciprocate.