Unexpected Break and Gift Giving

It turns out that after taking a week off I needed another week to ease back into working which meant that by the time I got home I had no desire to blog. I’m so glad to be back!

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I currently put $100 a month into my gift giving line because I honestly thought it would cover Christmas and the family birthdays. That means that I’ve put $300 in it so far and it’s almost empty. Which begs the question: how can I feel that I’m being cheap when it comes to gift giving yet spend ~$80/month on them?

There are two things at play here:

  1. I know more people than I think I do, people with whom I want to celebrate
  2. I don’t have a good sense of how much I actually spend on a gift

So far I have spent money on a friend’s birthday, child’s birthday, wedding token for a colleague, ML’s Christmas gift (late), Easter tokens for my parents, and began buying a friend’s wedding present. Only 3 of those items had been planned for.The rest were cases where we were invited to a party and wanted to celebrate with the person.

I think I’m going to have to do a better job of stocking the gift closet and keeping an eye on the items in there so I can easily and frugally provide meaningful presents for pop-up events.

I tend to think that I spend $20 on gifts/person yet that’s clearly not true. In reality I spend between $20-50 on birthdays and anniversaries and $100-$200 on weddings and baby showers. Though I’m tempted to increase the amount I put into my gift line I won’t because the increase may  mean that I tighten too much and end up overspending any way.

I had done a lot of crafts for Christmas gift giving and it was a fun thing for me to and also ensured that people got personal gifts.This week I began knitting again and noticed that I could easily add to my knitting repertoire and gift closet concurrently. I just need to remember that the value of the gift is much more than the yarn! For example, I’m knitting my dad indoor boots for Father’s Day. I found a pattern I loved and began doing it. Except that the pattern did not look at all like the photo so I had to rip out all the stitches (4 hours of work), write my own pattern, and knit the pattern (another 4 hours). That’s 8 hours spent on knitting a single boot!

I am going to continue to track my gift spending this year so I will hopefully have a better idea of how much should go into this line.

What does gift giving look like in your home?

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10 thoughts on “Unexpected Break and Gift Giving

  1. Providing gift cards to your friends creates a tangible amount and provides them the opportunity to buy what they would like. Placing this inside a card with a “hand written” message adds greater value to the friendship more often than a more expensive gift. This helps you spend exactly what you intend and provides an opportunity to express how meaningful your relationship is.

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  2. It seems like every month we’re buying gifts for various reasons. This category is always tough to keep full of available money, but I’m a lot better at it now than I was before. Probably because I actually plan for gifts instead of reacting to the occasion the day before or the day of and having to scramble for where the money comes from.

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  3. I try to avoid gifts, either by being upfront with people that I personally don’t celebrate things and don’t want gifts either (such as Christmas), or by sharing an experience or treating them to a meal. When I do want to give a gift I try and make it handmade or edible. There are societal expectations though that are hard to work around… for example I have an engagement party coming up and I can’t even think of anything I could buy for the couple that would be useful (nay to obligatory candles and unneeded household clutter) nor can I really afford it so I’m not sure what to do either…

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  4. I’m lucky because there really aren’t kids in the equation anymore. I don’t have any, and the nephews are too old to want what I could afford LOL. So it’s more like hostess gifts and just for each other.

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      1. To some…it is a great gift and I used to stick up on wine tours if some were well priced and only available at the winery. I’m going to see if I have budget space to do that again.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s wonderful that you have gift giving in your budget. Great planning. Like Jess, I don’t give material gifts for the most part, with the exception of my three children on special occasions. I never seem to have the money to do more than that. I really don’t care to receive material gifts, either. I have all I need- for the most part. However, if someone wanted to add to my bank account….

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    1. I hear you! That’s going to be my gift to my brother…though it explains why my family gift giving is expensive :).
      My parents and I had an honest conversation and we’ve decided to only get each other consumables e.g. for Easter I gave them wine and they gave us pickled eggs (I’ve always wanted to try) and ML’s favourite aioli. It can still add up but at least we both know that the gift will be used and enjoyed.

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