I Want What I Have This Thanksgiving (Plus a Giveaway for You!)

by David Ning · 54 comments

Dear readers,

I don’t like to stick my nose in other people’s business, so I’ve gone back and forth on whether I should even write this to you. But I know I’ll regret it if I don’t say anything — so here goes.

In the next 30 days or so, you’ll be bombarded with many seemingly wonderful ideas on how best to part ways with your hard-earned cash. A new TV, perhaps, a gorgeous handbag, or your dream pair of shoes — sold at a deep discount, no doubt.

But while these beautifully-designed products will give you a temporary high, the joy of ownership will fall by the wayside soon enough, just like everything else you’ve ever purchased.

You may believe you’ll be happy if you could just get that one thing this holiday season. “If I just have that much more/make that much more/get that much more, then I’ll be happy.” But someone who has more will tell you your goal is certainly not enough. They have what you thought was adequate, but they too need just a bit more to be happy. And then there are still more people with more resources, asking for just a bit more than what they have, as well.

Someone once said that the key to happiness is to want what you have, so let’s say this out loud together:

“I have what I need, and I want what I have.”

It’s not easy. I, too, want all kinds of toys, clothes, and more this holiday season. I can certainly afford them, but desire is never ending. I’m going to do things differently this year.

Instead of buying something for myself, I’m going to use the funds to give gifts to people I’m thankful for.

I have two $50 Amazon gift cards, which I’d like to give to two of you. I get emails all the time thanking me for what we write here on MoneyNing.com, but in reality, it’s me who owes everything to you.

Without your support, this site simply wouldn’t exist.

Please leave a comment below letting us know how you’d use the $50 gift card, and I’ll randomly pick two people to win. I’ll email the winners on Dec 5th (a week from today) with details on how to redeem their prize.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick note that the giveaway ended and we already contacted the winners. Thank you for sharing and taking part!

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current Verizon FiOS promotion codes and promos to see if you can save more money every month from now on.

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Valerie November 28, 2013 at 5:45 am

I’d use the gift card to buy gifts for my sisters’ children as her family is struggling financially right now.


Noel November 28, 2013 at 5:55 am

I would use the gift card to buy Christmas gifts. I have money set aside for gifts already but a little more wouldn’t hurt.


Rosemary November 28, 2013 at 6:23 am

I need a new vacuum. $50.00 is about the right price for one. Merry Christmas to me.


Nicole November 28, 2013 at 6:34 am

I, too, would use the gift card to buy Christmas gifts :) (in fact, I was just looking at some CDs and baby gifts on Amazon the other day!)


Sandra Jensen November 28, 2013 at 7:35 am

First thanks for all your great ideas throughout the year! I would use the Amazon gift card to buy gifts for my granddaughter who is currently living with us.


Jenny November 28, 2013 at 7:43 am

I’d use the gift card to cover gifts for my family so that I can keep saving for a down payment.


Mike November 28, 2013 at 7:48 am

Your site has helped me spend more wisely. Thanks. If I won a card I would probably purchase a small, relatively inexpensive item such as a book. I don’t know if I could donate the balance through Amazon to a worthy cause such as the Red Cross which helps people in need. If not, I would order groceries and donate them to the local food bank.


craig November 28, 2013 at 7:50 am

My daughter is in college and her laptop.just crashed last week. If we can’t fix it while she is home she will have to either buy a new hard drive or laptop. She could certainly use the money towards this purchase.


Pattie November 28, 2013 at 8:01 am

If I won the gift card, I’d like to use it to buy items for our local food pantry. They have an online Amazon.com Wish List for their needs. At this time of year the Pantry can really use the help.


Tim November 28, 2013 at 8:14 am

I think it is a great idea that you can give away the $50. Since I don’t need it, I won’t enter your contest, but I’m thankful that you are doing well enough to offer it to your readers.


Sheri November 28, 2013 at 8:31 am

I would give this to a friend who is currently saving up the money to go through bankruptcy. She routinely uses the local food bank, so this would help extend her personal funds.


Jeremy November 28, 2013 at 8:50 am

Thanks for your website and e-mails. You share a lot of great information. And thanks for your generous offer to give away the gift cards.

My friend Mary is disabled and has been unable to work since a major spine surgery. So her money is tight and she’s got a lot of time to fill. She has wanted to learn how to play ukulele for a long time, but can’t justify spending money on it now. I’d love to get one for her as a Christmas gift. I think it would bring enjoyement for years to come.


Jess November 28, 2013 at 9:13 am

My daughter really wants a tea set, and I’ve been saving up for the past few months to get it for her this Christmas. $50 would go a long way and help me buy her the gift.


Alexis November 28, 2013 at 9:15 am

I am an avid volunteer for one of the largest no-kill animal shelters in the country and would be thrilled to give the gift card to them to help more wonderful animals find homes this season.


Paul Russo November 28, 2013 at 9:35 am

I would give the gift card to our usual waitress at our local Chili’s restaurant for her and her daughter.


Roxy November 28, 2013 at 9:41 am

I would use this for study guides and textbooks.


Sheena November 28, 2013 at 10:47 am

I would use the gift card to purchase school pants for my twin daughters, to replace the current ones that are two small and worn out.


Joel November 28, 2013 at 10:49 am

I would use this gift card to Give to my girlfriends cousin who could really use the extra money to buy college textbooks with. Love the site it has helped me numerous times in the past and I’ve references the how to save money on everything book plenty of times.


Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple November 28, 2013 at 11:02 am

I love Amazon and use it all the time. So the gift card? Would be used for everyday living. Books to read for me or my kids, perhaps a holiday gift for a family member, a movie rental, a craft item.


Paul November 28, 2013 at 11:20 am

With so many people hurting; giving to any non profit that helps others for food or clothing and shelter would be appreciated.


Mike November 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I would use it to help with Christmas, simple as that


Myriam November 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Since I am a new mom, I would buy a few gifts for my baby.


One Frugal Girl November 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I’d love to make delicious homemade bread, so I think the gift card would be used to find some yummy ingredients.


Lisa November 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I would use the gift card to buy canned cat food for my two cats. They can only eat certain food and I find it for the best price on Amazon. Thank you and Happy Holidays.


Ryan November 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm

My wife and I are expecting a baby boy in February, so we are saving all our pennies and being as careful with money as possible. We aren’t buying each other gifts this year (although I have a $10 gift card I won at work that I’ll give her). So if I were to win a gift card I would find something nice on Amazon for my wife.


Marsha November 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I too am wanting to be thankful for what I have, instead of wanting more. But I would buy my son a much needed pair of shoes and a winter coat if I were to be so fortunate. Thanks for all the info you put out.


Ashley J November 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm

I wish I could say something fun, but honestly I’d use the gift card on diapers. My husband (who is the main bread winner in our family) has been sick with a mystery illness and unable to work for the past 3 weeks, as he’s been in & out of the hospital. We’re waiting to get into the Mayo Clinic next Friday to hopefully get some answers & a treatment plan. In the meantime, we’ve had to dip into our precious (and meager) savings to pay for regular bills. It’s very disheartening, as we’ve been trying diligently to save for our first home. In any case, we’re trying to stay positive, be thankful for what we have (and each other!!!) and to focus on the good in our lives. A $50 Amazon gift card would just be the icing on the cake : )


Logan November 28, 2013 at 5:52 pm

First, thank you for the opportunity to win such a generous gift.

I would love to give this gift card to my wonderful son who has never asked me for anything beyond our means. We will definitely continue to ‘pay it forward’. Thanks. :))


Christine M November 28, 2013 at 9:09 pm

I would use the $50 gift card to put towards my kids gifts for Christmas.

I’m sure it’s difficult to pick people based on their notes and stories. I could provide you a story that would make you sad, happy, sad again, then so happy you cried. Every single person in this world has a story to tell. I’m more than happy to tell mine: even started a blog about it all, but just know we went from a 1 child household to a 2 child household and are still adjusting. Our young man is 16 as of Sunday and our daughter is 12 1/2.

Does this post contradict your other post? :) http://moneyning.com/money-beliefs/is-crowdfunding-endangering-our-work-ethic/


Amy November 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm

We are trying to cut the cord with cable. I don’t know if it would work, but a $50 Amazon card could be used toward paying for Amazon Prime. That’s what we would do with it.


jim November 28, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I’d give it to Ashley. Tough call, but that’s what I would do.


Kelly D November 28, 2013 at 11:56 pm

I would buy pajamas for my kids.


Jen S November 29, 2013 at 1:25 am

I would use it to buy some white wooden blinds for my living room. I rarely ever buy anything for myself instead spending for my children. I finally became debt free (not counting the house) last Saturday but have now shifted all my energy to building emergency savings.


Maverick November 29, 2013 at 4:59 am

I would give the gift card to the first stranger who said good morning to me. I don’t need it.


Christine November 29, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I support this one :)


Elizabeth November 29, 2013 at 6:59 am

I would use it to buy a retirement gift for my boss, who took a chance on me after I had been unemployed and seeking work for months. He later introduced me to the man who turned out to be the love of my life. While the dust is still settling from the financial hardship of an extended period of unemployment, I would really like to show my gratitude to the man who gave me a chance to turn my life around, and who has provided me meaningful work and a place I honestly look forward to going and clocking in every day.


Grinch November 29, 2013 at 9:45 am

We should all say a BIG thank you for this website. I have learned a lot and shared some with others. Thanks again. I would use the money to buy a radiator for my daughter’s truck. She crashed it last week and is riding a bike to college until I can get the truck fixed.


Pearl November 30, 2013 at 8:37 am

Thanks for the giveaway! I would use the gift card to purchase gifts for my colleagues.


Jennifer November 30, 2013 at 8:54 am

Through the years of following your site I have learned and shared many things with my children on how to better spend and save money. If given one of the gift cards I would use it to buy gifts for someone we identify as needing help through the non-profit that I support in our community. We see many families struggling to survive and will use the funds to make a child smile.


Matt McComb November 30, 2013 at 9:19 am

I’d use it as a little Christmas bonus for one of my staff (I manage a team of awesome people but I don’t have a discretionary bonus pool to award for the holidays).


Alex Marsh November 30, 2013 at 4:08 pm

I would either spend it on something for myself, or more likely, give it to someone as a Christmas gift. It would probably go to my brother-in-law who is struggling his way through school.


Tracy Martin November 30, 2013 at 8:13 pm

I would use the card to buy bus passes for my daughter.


Karyn December 1, 2013 at 7:12 pm

I would give my kids a memorable experience this holiday season… maybe a ride in a horse-drawn carriage followed by hot cocoa and desserts at a gourmet restaurant.


Rebecca December 1, 2013 at 11:22 pm

I’d use the gift card to finish my Christmas shopping & donate whatever is left.


David December 2, 2013 at 7:14 am

I would use the money to buy presents for my sister’s kids. Their family has had a major problem in their house which has required expensive repairs and their money is tight this Christmas season.


Gwen December 2, 2013 at 8:14 am

I’d give the card to a friend who is currently unemployed and doesn’t have money to buy holiday gifts for his kids.


Paula December 2, 2013 at 9:02 am

I would buy the weber cast iron grill grate for my husband. Our has been broken for a year and we keep postponing to buy it. When we don’t have enough $ in our budget, that one is always get deleted and postponed.


Jennifer D. December 2, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I would put it towards a new microwave oven (my turntable broke) or just romance e-books.


property marbella December 3, 2013 at 2:20 am

I want a new laptop, my present is so lethargic and slow. I hope that Santa brings one.


Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans December 3, 2013 at 9:39 am

I’d use the gift cards for for my mom’s Christmas present.


Eloisa December 3, 2013 at 9:59 am

Thank you educating us with our finances.

Please give it to Ashley and my prayers to her husband.


Kat December 4, 2013 at 7:34 am

Nice offer! I’d use the gift card to buy a couple of business books on Project Management and Product Management, such as The Product Manager’s Desk Referrence.


Janice B December 4, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I’d buy a tire for my disabled husband’s 18-year old car. He got a nail puncture too close to the sidewall and has put on the donut spare.

Other than that, we are content with all the blessings we’ve had in life.


Sophia December 4, 2013 at 2:57 pm

First time on your site! very informative! I will buy vitamins for my grandma!


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