How Did You Celebrate Dad?
I was listening to the radio the other day and they were discussing that the average father's day gift this year was $190. This fact blew my mind! Don't get me started on the other stat that the average mother's day gift this year was $220. On top of this staggering number, look at all of the marketing floating around leading up to father's day telling me it's a good idea to buy the father in my life a $1,000 lawn mower.
I'm curious who is spending this kind of dough? Call me old fashioned but in our home it's all about homemade cards, gathering for a meal as a family, and just plain celebrating Dad. When you add up all of the obligatory commercial holidays and birthdays annually, then multiply that by the amount of people in your circle you wish to buy for, what does this add up to for you?
I run a tight ship with regards to budgeting in our home (surprised? no?), and have compartmentalized gifts outside of our regular budget required to run the house. What I did was sit down and list the people I buy gifts for and which occasions, then multiplied that by an average gift amount per occasion and person. Once I got that total, I threw in a few extra hundred dollars for all of those extra kiddo parties that can really add up as well. You know what this adds up to annually for our home? $2,500. Now, we don't have a huge family and we also don't buy for everyone at each occasion, and it's still thousands of dollars per year.
Now don't get me wrong, I do believe gift giving is an important part of life and your cash flow. What I'm really saying is that perhaps you would benefit from spending a few minutes listing who you buy for and the frequency, then laying eyes on what this means for your household expenses. Create a strategy to make sure you are able to buy these gifts and maybe even splurge for those wonderful milestones. Tips for building a gift budget strategy include using any extra income you may receive such as bonuses, income tax returns, or for those of you who are paid bi-weekly and get that glorious 3 paycheck month.