I love August! The hubs and I both celebrate our birthdays and our anniversary is in August too. In fact, today is Dallas’s birthday! Happy Birthday, Babe! With so much to celebrate, we could face some serious budget-busting moments. And I’m not going to lie, sometimes it’s hard. I LOVE buying stuff for my hubs. That said, we’ve learned to keep our goals in mind and press on, avoid the spur of the moments splurges and stick to our plan.
We set realistic expectations for each other and our money. I am not the girl who says, “Don’t send me flowers” and then freaks out when I don’t get flowers. By setting realistic expectations we both have a firm understanding of how much to spend and what we can look forward to gift-wise. This still gives us the freedom to exchange gifts and surprise each other if we go that route but it also helps us to avoid disappointment or misunderstandings. By the way, dudes, I’m not saying to stop sending flowers. If it’s in the budget, send em, some of us really love that!
We don’t always exchange gifts. I mean, who doesn’t like getting gifts, right? But we’d rather experience something together. This is definitely a personal preference and I am not ragging on those who like to give and receive gifts. We just tend to save money by not exchanging gifts and instead enjoy a fun or unique date night. We’re also to the point where if we really need something we budget for it and buy it. We are far from buying extravagant things so this is a fun balance for us. Plus, we get to create exceptional memories in the process.
We do not exchange greeting cards. I mean, who wants to spend $5 on a card that just gets thrown away. We’ve laughed about picking out cards for each other at the grocery store, exchanging them right there in the isle and then putting them back after reading them. But joking aside, greeting cards are ridiculously expensive. Instead of spending $5-$10 on a greeting card, we’ll go out for coffee or ice cream or something and spend some time together. That’s money well spent.
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If we do give gifts, the gift is definitely somewhat of a treat or is something we wouldn’t normally buy. True story, I’ve been pining over a handbag since we started our debt free journey. There was absolutely no room in our budget/debt slaying for me to buy a handbag. I mean, none. I’m rolling my eyes thinking about it. But, for my birthday, my hubs conspired with my sweet in-laws to get me a gift card to pick out the purse I’ve been wanting. This was a very intentional purchase and is something I will use for a very long time. It’s all about intentional spending!
We look for frugal or free events to attend together that are out of the norm. There’s nothing like going on an adventure! Even better when that adventure is cheap or free! We’re lucky to live in an area where we seem to have festivals and events happening every weekend. Those events are usually free to attend and are a great way to have some fun on a budget. Sometimes we just walk around a neighboring town and see what fun we can find! This weekend we headed to the downtown of a neighboring town and found an adorable ceramic paint shop. We stopped in and it happened to be half off night! Woot woot! Sometimes you don’t know those places are available until you venture out!
My point to all this is that you really can set your priorities and enjoy celebrations in the process. If your priorities are celebrating birthdays or anniversaries to the fullest, do it! You just might have to cut something somewhere else. As long as you’re sticking to your budget and maintaining your goals, you’re set!
Until next time, spend safely!
Note: I am not a personal finance professional. All of my advice is strictly opinion. I am not responsible for your success or failure. If you need professional financial help, please seek advice from a trained professional.
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