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Dave Says - Dave Ramsey

Thought, not plastic, for gifts

Dear Dave,

What’s an appropriate amount for gift cards to send each of our five grandchildren for Christmas?

– Liz

Dear Liz,

How much do you spend on your grandchildren? Enough to make their parents nervous!

Seriously though, I think it depends on two things. First, are you two debt-free, or at least able to provide gifts without going into debt or hurting yourselves financially? There’s nothing wrong with spoiling the grandbabies once in a while. But don’t use Christmas as an excuse to lose your minds, blow your budget, or go into debt every December.

The amount you spend on gifts? I would suggest making it reasonable, not over the top, and relative to your income and that of the household in which the kiddos live. 

The second thing I wonder about is the ages of all the grandchildren. I can’t imagine a 4-year-old getting excited over a gift card. So, if that’s the general age range we’re talking about, have some fun with it! Head down to the store, and really put some thought into these decisions. On the other hand, it might be just the thing for a teenager – especially if you know where they like to shop and hang out. Older kids want to make their own decisions, so depending on the personality of the grandchild, a gift card might be the way to go.

But if your grandkids are still little, please don’t give them gift cards. No, Grandma, no!

– Dave 

Job search: Be bold, but not obnoxious

Dear Dave,

What is the proper etiquette after the job interview process? I recently had an interview for a sales management position. I’ve sent a couple of follow-up emails in the last few weeks, and I know I’m still under consideration, but I’m not sure what to do now. 

– Krista

Dear Krista

Next time, since you obviously have a sales background, how about treating it like a sales call? If you’re on a sales call, and the customer needs to perform some due diligence before deciding, a smart saleswoman or man will ask to schedule a follow-up. Ask whether checking back on a certain day in the next week or 2 will work. You don’t want to be obnoxious, but you want an appointment of sorts – a time frame – so you’ll know when to follow up without being pushy.

In this situation, I would recommend sending another email. You want to walk right up to that fine line that separates bold from obnoxious, because that’s one of things a good sales manager should be able to do. Respectfully tell them you understand the decision-making process takes time, but you need to know when you can expect an answer.

Use the idea that you’re a great saleswoman, and you’re treating this as a professional sales call. And don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it. If you’re still under consideration, that means they like you. You could even hint at the fact they don’t want to hire a sales manager who doesn’t know how to follow up.

– Dave  

Follow Dave on Twitter (@DaveRamsey), or go to daveramsey.com. 

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