I actually suck at saving money. At this point in life I really do. And, with student loans approaching, I definitely need to get my shit together. However, it’s pretty hard to put any money in your savings when everyone’s birthday is literally in the Fall.
You know what I’m talking about.
There’s always that one season that has a million birthdays. For example, October is the best month because it has the most important holidays: 1) My Birthday (duh) and 2) Halloween (the best holiday EVER). HOWEVER, it’s also the MOST stressful. I have my best friend’s birthday, my cousin’s birthday, my stepmom’s birthday and my grandpa’s birthday. So basically all my birthday money goes back to buying gifts.
After 22 years of this CRAZINESS, I think I’ve got it down.
Here’s some ways to help budget through whatever birthday season makes you annually broke:
Prioritize Your Necessities
No, I don’t mean those shoes you’ve been DYING for at your favorite boutique. NECESSITIES include your: rent, bills, gas, groceries. take your average you spend and put that aside. Subtract it from your total monthly income and VOILA, you have your spending money budget!
DIVIDE Your Spending Budget
Whatever is left after your necessities budget is your spending budget and you need to crack down on how much you plan to spend on outings and shopping for the month. If you go out multiple times a weekend (like me) you’re going to have to sacrifice a few trashy nights and pretty brunches to one per weekend and only bring CASH to your outings: bars and shopping. This will literally STOP you from spending more than you need to. Whatever money you have left after setting aside personal spendings is your BIRTHDAY GIFTS BUDGET. Depending on how many birthdays you have coming up will tell you how much you can set aside for your own personal spending endeavors.
Create an Average
Prioritize your people, people. If it’s your mom’s birthday/GF/BF, etc. clearly they’re getting a nice gift. Everyone else who’s just a friend, you can budget for a little less. It’s important to create an average. If you don’t want to spend more than $100 on a birthday, set a limit and an average. Depending on how broke you are, you can average around $50 or $100 per gift. Like I said, it all depends on how much you’re ABLE to spend and how much you WANT to spend. Last year I averaged around $30-50 per gift.
GIFT IDEAS FOR THE BROKE BUM:
Being in a sorority prepared me for this: GIFT BASKETS. Gift bundles with their favorite snacks, drinks, and a few cool trinkets are a safe way to go and you can make this look super cute or cool in a decorated crate. THX Sigma Kappa.
There’s also events or concerts. You can find some pretty cool underground artist concerts from $20-40 and you going is a total plus so it’s like a gift to yourself, too. Last year I took my best friend to Horror Nights at the Queen Mary. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically a mini haunted theme park in Southern California. It was Halloween SZN so depending on their birthday, you could find some pretty cool and inexpensive events to take them to!
Let me know if you have any gift ideas or suggestions!
Simplistic and Realistic approaches to West Coast life and style