Valdosta Daily Times

April 28, 2013

Brittany's Budget Diary: Your mom is a real gangsta, so throw her some props

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Woe is me! My world seems to have come to an end this week as my nerves are being tested at every turn. First my mutt, Winnie, chews off the corner of my mom’s pillow sham in the guest bedroom (I didn’t see her do it but she was ousted after her morning “constitutional”) in addition to the corner of her rug in the living room which ignited World War III, and then by some cruel twist of fate, I have succumbed to unknown food allergies which have me walking around like I have Vitiligo or something!

However, that was not even the worst of it. My arch-nemesis, Suze Orman, came into Savannah ...

I mean seriously, what was a girl to do? The only thing that would have made my week worse was if America’s sweetheart and my idol, Reese Witherspoon, got arrested. Oh wait, that did happen! #EpicLifeFail.

I could go on and on, but who would I be if I just endlessly rambled without providing any meaningful, budget-guided advice (*cough, Suze Orman)? So, budgeteers, let’s shift to a woman that doesn’t annoy me (completely), my mom. That’s right, Mother’s Day is just two weeks away and you need to get cracking on a gift so you don’t get caught up in the rush and forget your budget p’s and q’s.

If you’re not on Groupon, get on it! Groupon is a deal-of-the-day website and smart phone app that is localized to major markets in the U.S. and Canada. All you do is start an account for free, put in your zip code and bam! Tons of deals around your area and online.

Through Mother’s Day, they have a special tab showing you all the holiday’s special deals. I personally just bought a voucher for $40 worth of flowers at FTD.com for just $20. I have three women far away from me that I am sending flowers to, and after two vouchers, I got $80 worth of flowers for just $40. By the time you read this, there will still be three days left to buy this voucher, so hurry up.

Groupon also has tons of other deals such as 62 percent off gourmet food delivery, 79 percent off custom photo books, Dolce & Gabbana perfume for just $39.99, and more. Sure, you have to pay for the deals but you come out way cheaper with the vouchers.

Though I ordered flowers for three offline, I feel compelled to tell you that if you are able, buying your flowers locally is a better value. It gets you out of a ridiculously high service fee. Many local florists have deals for every budget and if you just go in and tell them what you have to spend, many of them would be more than happy to whip you something up. If you feel up to it, you can also save a lot of money by buying flowers from local stores. Before you gift them, put them in a vase from Goodwill or the Dollar Tree and make sure to cut the stems to the right length so they fit. By no means leave the plastic wrap and price tag on the flowers. That just screams I went into Walmart for macaroni and saw the flowers and remembered it was Mother’s Day. Tacky!

 Sure, now that I have a fancy, new job, I actually have money to buy flowers this year. But go back to last year, and man, I was broke. I didn’t even have $20 to spare. So I took the time to draw my mom a piece of art, which she loved! If you’re not an artist, go hunting for an old picture or a recent one of the two of you together and frame it. You can get a cheap frame at a thrift shop or the dollar store. It’s a budget-friendly gift that shows you put a lot of time and thought into it.

Another great and budget-conscious gift is food. Your mom has fed you so many times in her lifetime that you at least owe her one meal. Take her for a brunch that’s just the two of you, or if you have siblings, all chip in to pay for her meal. At the very least go to her house and cook her breakfast.

If you’re saying in your head: “whateva, whateva,” well, go to YouTube and type in “child birth.” It’s a rude awakening, but yeah, your mom is pretty much a warrior.

Well, my dear budgeteers, I hope those tips help. Don’t read this, forget about it and find a present later, do it now! Your mom deserves all the thought in the world, so make this Mother’s Day count.

Don’t forget to like me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BrittanyDenneyMcClure and follow me on Twitter @VDT_Brittany