Have you ever forgotten to budget for someone’s birthday? I hate scrambling around at the last minute to find a cheap gift for someone. If you forget to budget for birthdays, shopping can be crazy.
You always forget when to purchase the gift and who’s birthday is coming next. If you have a large family, birthdays can really drain your wallet.
February is a big month in my household. My husband and I were both born in February (21 days apart) and we were married five days before my birthday as well.
If I didn’t budget for birthdays, we would not have any money in February with the things that we have going on.
I would also have to switch up our budget often because I would forget when to purchase gifts for our family members either. Those gifts would have to fit within the budget that I could pull together at the last minute.
This means that we may or may not have enough money to purchase the gift that we intended to get for that person. This cycle became insane to me.
Budgeting for birthdays could be the difference between buying my brother a card or a fancy new tie. I finally sat down and came up with a way to budget for birthdays that makes sense.
Make a Plan
Planning is essential to budgeting for birthdays. I am a planner by nature, so this part comes easily to me. If you are not a natural planner, it’s not too hard.
Start with getting a notepad and writing down everyone’s name that you will purchase a gift for this year.
When that list is complete, go back and add the date of each person’s birthday next to their name. You can even go as far as adding a note about the gift that you will purchase for each person.
The next step is to add these birthdays to your planner, calendar, or any place that you will see at least monthly.
That’s it! Now you know when birthdays are coming up and when to purchase gifts throughout the year.
Budget for Birthdays
Creating a budget is the next step to buying gifts for birthdays. You will want to take the list that you have created and add up the total number of gifts that you will need to purchase for the year.
Once you have this number, determine how much money you would like to spend for each gift. Don’t forget to include supplies like wrapping paper, bags, and tissue paper in this number.
The easy way would be to spend the same amount of money for each person. If that’s not your thing, you could also write down the amount that you plan to spend for each person beside their name in your planner.
When it is time to purchase the gifts, you will already know how much you can spend and shopping and it shouldn’t take much time at all.
Start A Sinking Fund
Now you will need to create a sinking fund. This will be where you keep your birthday money until it’s time to purchase a gift.
You can get a separate account for your birthday fund, or use a program like YNAB to keep track of your birthday money.
You can set up your sinking fund anyway you like. I like to divide the total amount that I need for birthdays by 12 and add that amount to my sinking fund every month.
Another option is to save the amount that you will need for birthdays each month at the beginning of the month. This means you won’t add anything to your fund if there are no birthdays coming up that month.
This also means if there are three birthdays that month, you will need to add that amount to the sinking fund at the beginning of the month.
It doesn’t matter which option you choose as long as it works for you and your monthly budget.
Purchase the Gifts
I love shopping, so purchasing gifts happens to be the fun part for me.
I like to use my planner to see which birthdays are coming up in the next month. My rule of thumb is to purchase the gift at least two weeks before the person’s birthday.
I like to have time to wrap the gift and mail it or deliver it without feeling pressured. I would also hate to get busy during the birthday week and not have time to shop.
The information that I have already gathered makes the shopping trip is so easy. I know exactly who I’m purchasing a gift for, how much I plan to spend, and I know that the money is in my account waiting to be used for this purpose.
This a great feeling. I do not get stressed out about finding birthday gifts anymore.
The Bottom Line
This method of budgeting for birthdays has saved me so much time and money. I know when each person’s birthday is coming up and when to plan my shopping trip each month.
As long as I stick to my plan, my friends and family receive nice gifts from me and they are very appreciative.
It makes me feel great as well. Implementing this new method to budget for birthdays should allow you to feel confident when purchasing and giving gifts. I hope that you are able to make this method work for you.
What other methods have you used to budget for birthdays? How did they work out?