A few weeks ago, a friend and I were discussing freelancing being a viable way to earn a living. According to a lot of blogs out there, there are people who earn six figures by Doing This and Doing That. But what about the rest of us?

Those of us who are chasing up invoices weekly or bi-weekly, and sometimes never hearing another word from a client. Not to mention the percentage of fellow millennials that are stuck inside of the overdraft cycle.

However, freelancing is pretty cool. We get to pick our own hours, we get to do what we love doing, and I’m not going to lie, I’ve done my fair share of work from a Parisian café or two in my time. On a budget. It is completely doable and you can’t really argue with freedom.

Stressing about cash is something that millennials know like the back of our hands. Honestly, we probably know it even better because our eyes are generally on some kind of screen. While logically, I fully admit that living from paycheck-to-paycheck is a habit we should all train ourselves out of, the other part of me⸺and probably in large part to do with my writerly imagination⸺I think we should sometimes just pull Beatles and “Let it Be”.

Living on a budget is a really smart thing to do, even if you do have money in the bank. You can do almost anything that you would like to do! That is, except for Christmas stuff…

Now see, I love Christmas and I LOVE getting presents for my boyfriend, family, and friends, but that generally requires a huge chunk of cash that could be going to bills or, you know, pizza. Although last year, when I asked my boyfriend what he wanted, he legitimately said to me, “I have everything I need”. (You’ll be happy to know I quizzed him on that and he relented with, “Fine, maybe a corkscrew”.) And that got me to thinking: There’s literally nothing wrong with getting your loved ones a gift that is within your budget and also has so much meaning.

Maybe even more meaning than the latest Call of Duty.

Like, I could get my dad a t-shirt with a Dog in the Back of a Truck printed on it because the dog is always riding in the back of his truck when he’s not supposed to. BUDGET. I could get my boyfriend a mechanical pencil because one of the first stories he told me was that he broke one in elementary school and has never forgotten it. BUDGET. My mom also loves customized gifts and can’t seem to figure out how they work, so a Christmas photo card would be amazing for her (especially one with the dog on it). BUDGET. Also, the friend I mentioned in the beginning really loves the cold weather. Now, it might be difficult, some may say impossible, for me to be able to bring the snow to her, but I can get her a custom t shirt quilt sewn with her old t-shirts. BUDGET.

Oh! Did I mention it earlier that I just might get myself a cute onesie for Christmas? I mean, I deserve this gift after slogging off the entire year. A cute care-bear or a Santa Claus onesie will be perfect for the occasion I think, and I might just wear it for Christmas dinner! After all, it is the season to be jolly!
Money isn’t needed for good times or for sentimental gifts.

And so, when my friend and I were discussing the viability of freelancing, I told them that even when I’m chasing up invoices and budgeting like crazy, the time and the heart (and gifts) I can give to my loved ones are truly priceless.