We give gifts for lots of reasons, from birthdays and religious and cultural holidays to weddings and various celebrations. It’s a way to congratulate someone or to show them that you care, as well as a chance to show them that you know them well. Giving presents isn’t always easy, but it’s always fun to make someone happy. With various occasions across the year when you might need to give someone a present, budgeting for gift-giving is a must. It can turn into a major expense, especially if you have a lot of friends and family, and buying presents can start to eat into your budget if you don’t account for them.
Tips to Budget for Presents Across the Year
Consider Your Gift-giving Occasions
To budget for any presents that you give across the year, you first need to consider what occasions might require giving a gift. There are those that come up every year, such as Christmas or other holidays and celebrations, as well as birthdays. Then there are events that you expect to happen but are more of a one-off. These could include someone getting married, someone graduating from university or finishing school or someone having a baby. All of these life events are worth marking with a gift.
Decide an Appropriate Amount to Spend
Choosing how much to spend on presents can be tricky. How much are you expected to spend? What’s the socially-appropriate amount to spend for different people and different occasions? There’s no set answer for how much you should be spending and whoever you give a gift to is unlikely to know or check how much you spend. One exception is gift cards, which are a bit more transparent. Despite what some might think, they can be a very thoughtful gift. How much you choose to put on them is up to you, but consider how much you would have spent on something else.
Find Ways to Save
If you’re trying to budget for presents throughout the year, it makes sense to think of ways to save money. You can reduce your spend and still give people thoughtful gifts that they will love. Some people choose to save money by making gifts, using their time, energy and creativity to give someone something special. You might also save money by buying people presents during sales events, such as in January when many things are discounted after Christmas.
Leave Room for Unexpected Gifts and Events
You never know when an unexpected event might crop up, and you need to buy or chip in for a gift. Maybe a colleague is leaving your workplace, or someone has been promoted, or perhaps someone has won an award or will be moving into a new house. These unplanned occasions aren’t always easy to account for because you never really know what might happen. But you can plan on a couple of events cropping up so that they’re not quite as unexpected as you might think.
Make a budget for present buying throughout the year, and you can account for all of your spending.