Charity Starts At Home: It is better to give than receive, so give yourself a break- a tax break! Frugality doesn’t mean that you’re cheap; it just means that you’re not wasting anything. Fiscal responsibility dictates that one doesn’t piss away money for kicks, and by extension, that means not giving the money to anyone that would do the same. And I think you know whom I’m talking about…

While I am NOT encouraging anyone to cheat on their taxes, it’s worth mentioning that when the IRS processes tax returns, they subject the raw data you provide them to something called “Benford’s Law.”

Benford’s Law is an immutable curiosity of mathematics that simply states: In this world, numbers starting with “1” are more common than numbers starting with “2”, which are far more common than numbers that start with “3”, etc.

In case that sounds weird, don’t over-think it: Of ALL the numbers in our world- bank statements, baseball stats, lottery picks, everything you can think of- the vast majority of them start with the integer “1”, and numerically become less frequent as their value expands. So if you fill your tax return full of random numbers, and 30.6% of them don’t start with “1”, you’re inviting an audit.

I know it sounds like one of those bullshit factoids and you might say: “Prove it.”

I will:

All I’m saying is that if you choose to express your statement of taxes owed in a light more conducive to You, Inc.’s bottom line, don’t make up a bunch of shady figures that all start with 5’s or 7’s… Feel free to go back to the well, go back to The One.

Re-Gifting To Those Unfortunate Enough To Have Given You That Piece Of Shit In The First Place: If you’re one of those families that is hopelessly dysfunctional, don’t even bother with buying anything for Christmas. Express your sour holiday spirit by not only re-gifting, but re-gifting back to the chump that bought you that Abraham Lincoln Chia Pet kit two years ago. Not only will it be twice as cheesy this year, but the seeds will be long past dead. Talk about getting the final word.

Otherwise, feel free to return that fruitcake to your Aunt Elaine via Fed Ex Collect. And tell her to tell her husband Uncle Roger to keep his hands at home.

Give On To Others…: Never buy a gift for someone you wouldn’t want yourself. Truer words have never been spoken- especially when you’re broke. These are the gifts that matter the most, as their value goes beyond the price on the tag. Personally, I have found that my wife loves getting DR High Beam Bass Strings. While I can’t speak to her attraction to such an item, I feel content that she loves to share them with me.

If you don’t have the grapes to pull such an obvious caper, there is a perfect gift that not only is universally appreciated by every receiver, but can be enjoyed by you, the giver.

It’s called “Booze”. Let that be a lesson to you.

“Wow, This Is Great, But…”: Instead of spoiling your loved ones with lavish gifts that will be collecting more dust than use by February, just buy one gift for one person to neglect. This is a standard of “How To Have A Frugal Christmas” articles.

The trick is to take this one step further: Buy a gift that is unwieldy, cumbersome or otherwise unpractical for others to transport back home. A true example of this is my sister buying a 75-pound bench vice for my brother that flew in from Dallas. I’ll cut to the chase and tell you that my sister has a real swell vice on her workbench.

This concept will work with 52” flat screen TVs, as long as the recipient is wealthy and has to catch a flight to Bali in the morning. Otherwise, let me suggest: Gift Certificates to a swanky sushi joint for folks from out of town, full body massages for the shy grandpa, or Megadeth/Slayer concert tickets for, well, ummm, anybody. (I’ll score the beer and drugs, have a driver pick us up at the bar…)

Well folks, I hope this information finds use in your capable hands. Remember: We all want to buy everybody a Tropical Vacation, it’s just that some of us don’t have the cash, and others aren’t deserving…

So in lieu of a fantastic tropical week of Do As We Please, I will bid you the fairest of holidays. And please remember: Be nice to your mother, drive safe and drink your egg nog!


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