Saturday, May 29, 2010

Poll: What's a gift giver to do?

Around a year ago, I wrote a post about gift giving. I was presumably dealing with the difficult problem of how to give a good gift to my wife on her birthday.
My wife's birthday is this week. Although I love her deeply and show that love everyday, her birthday forces me to make my love tangible. Every year, on her birthday, I give my wife a gift. Otherwise, I face unspecified, but terrifying consequences. I am compelled to give her gifts three other times per year: Valentine's Day, our anniversary and Christmas.

As an economist, I look at every scenario in terms of opportunity costs. No matter how you slice it, giving a gift will cost you something. You may reap intangible rewards. You may get more out of the gift giving experience than the receiver. Yes, that's all true, but giving a gift is costly -- whether you give a good gift or not. There are three types of costs the giver pays when giving a gift: (1) monetary costs, (2) time costs, and (3) love costs.
There's plenty more in the post (so check it out here), but that brings me to my poll question of the week.

What should I spend more on this year for my wife's birthday?

(1) Monetary costs
(2) Time costs
(3) Love costs

As with all polls, there's not a right answer to this question (other than what you think). I just think it would be interesting to see what you think is a good way to give a gift to a loved one. Also, it is fun.

So, vote early and often. Tell your friends, your spouses, your flower store clerks, and your jewelry dealers to vote. The poll is open for a week. I'm interested in hearing what you have to say.


  1. As long as you're taking suggestions from the general public, I say go with time costs. She'll definitely appreciate the effort and thought you put into the gift.

    By the way, I really enjoyed the reading your old post you linked to. Definitely an interesting way to look at gift-giving!

  2. Final Tally:

    16 votes for Monetary Costs
    12 votes for Time Costs
    3 votes for Love Costs


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