I love my husband but gift-giving isn’t his specialty. He warned me before we got married but I didn’t believe him. He wasn’t lying. His idea of gift-giving is to either do nothing or go big — and when I say big, I’m talking expensive.
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Breaking the Bank
Virtually every gift I’ve received from him has been crazy expensive. I’ve received an $800 compound bow, a $1,800 camera and a $1,500 gun.
I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the gifts, because I do (I even use them) but, honestly, I didn’t need them. I would have been just as happy with a new dress or two. I can get some amazing deals when I have cash.
However, since these were items we could afford at the time, I smiled and enjoyed the gifts.
Baby Makes Three
Two years ago, I had a baby and chose to work part-time, which meant a large decrease in our income. At the same time, we made a goal to pay off our home, which is our only remaining debt. This meant that we had to tighten our budget a lot.
It isn’t fun, but one of the first things I recommended we cut was gifts to each other. I knew that we would never be able to hit our financial goals unless we cut out frivolous spending. Exorbitant gifts definitely fall into the frivolous category, in my opinion.
The problem was finding a way to celebrate without going overboard or, on the opposite end, doing nothing. Sometimes doing nothing is worse than going overboard with your spending.
What I proposed was a small budget for holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. However, I added a twist: We got to buy our own gifts.
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If I only have a limited amount of money to spend, I want to get exactly what I want.
I know it sounds harsh, but I don’t want my husband to spend the $50 we’ve allocated on some random gift. I’d probably end up with some extra arrows for my bow. I want my Mother’s Day gift to be something I’ll use over and over again. I want it to be something meaningful to me, not a grand gesture or something random and useless. This means I typically purchase my own Mother’s Day gift. Do you know what’s crazy? I love it.
I love being able to pick and choose something I want, without feeling guilty about spending money that could go toward our financial goals. Special holidays are the one time I can spend money and enjoy the experience. As any girl will tell you, the fun part of shopping is the hunt for the perfect item, not the purchase itself.
This year, I’ve been eyeing some new décor for my bathroom. I found some awesome artwork on Etsy for $15 that I can print myself. This gives me a little extra to spend on some nice frames. Trust me when I say it isn’t a gift my husband would think to give me in a million years — but it is something I want. So, I’ll either buy the gift myself or send him links to the specific items.
With Mother’s Day approaching, I’m constantly asked, “What is your husband going to get you?” I now respond simply that I’m buying my own gift. I get the weirdest looks, but I love knowing that our money will be spent wisely on a gift that I actually want and need. Yes, I love the grand gifts I’ve received over the years, but more than anything, the gift I want is a workable budget that will help us reach our financial goals.
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