As we ease past the gifting frenzy of Christmas, it can be tempting to think that we’re off the hook. Then the birthdays begin to roll in, spreading across the year – and we realise it never stops.
The feeling of puzzling bewilderment as we try to figure out what to buy our friends for their respective birthdays is familiar – but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. It’s especially tough in the first part of the year, when you exhausted your last good idea for their Christmas gift.
Of course, your imagination is not the only thing that gets exhausted over Christmas – your funds do, too. January and February are generally quite tight months while we give our purse a chance to recover, allowing our debit card to return to a normal temperature. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to ask friends to move their birthdays to a more convenient time of year, so what do you do?
Option One: Go Fun and Frivolous
Gifts don’t have to be serious at any point, but it’s especially helpful to utilise frivolity when funds are running low. Rather than splashing out on expensive concert tickets or a gift from their favourite designer store, you can buy with the idea of bringing a smile to their face instead.
The options in this realm are endless. There’s novelty gifts aplenty – office toys, bobbleheads, pencil sets with quotes from their favourite movies – the list is endless. If you go for something with a personal touch, it’s likely going to end up meaning more anyway.
Option Two: Spend Anyway
You’ve got a credit card and the perfect gift in mind, so what’s holding you back?
Getting into debt for the sake of a gift is not the most sensible way of living. Yes, the desire to get something they really want is tempting – but look at it the other way. If the situations were reversed, would you want them to get into debt to buy you something? Of course not – true friendship doesn’t need that. So put the credit card down and think again.
Option Three: Promise Vouchers
If you have a good friend that you can be honest with, then there’s no harm in confessing that you’re a bit strapped for cash at the moment. Give them a card containing a promise voucher, to be redeemed later in the year for an exciting day out together with you picking up the tab. It gives you the time you need to bring the funds together, and it gives you both something to look forward to in future.
Just remember that if you give a voucher like this out, you have to be prepared to honour it when the time comes. Don’t see it as a cop-out and hope they will forget about it. Have an activity or day trip planned in your mind before you give the voucher and how you’d go about honouring it. That’s a big part of the thought that’s definitely going to count.