Christmas is one area that gets a lot of focus when it comes to preparation and saving, but if you are on a tight budget, birthdays can be an area that gets overlooked financially. This is especially true if you are a parent with children to buy for, as well as a multitude of parties to buy presents for throughout the year. Here I list some tips for making both children’s and adult’s birthday presents more affordable.
Save throughout the year in a separate birthday fund
It sounds obvious but how many of us actually do this? Make a list of all family, friends and children’s birthdays you know you will need to buy for and the approximate cost of each. Divide this figure by 12 and this should give you a monthly amount to aim to save. If this seems like a lot, you could aim to supplement your fund with side hustles such as Matched Betting, ebay selling or surveys.
Take advantages of sales and freebies
Armed with your birthdays fund cash to ensure you aren’t cutting into other funds, you can now look out for deals and offers throughout the year. Recently I saw an Instagram post where someone had managed to put together a beauty gift basket for her sister for around a £3 spend, with items that should have totalled £28. Make sure you also use cashback such as Quidco or top cashback where possible. The only drawback is it can be tempting to overcompensate and keep buying extras to fit the original budget – try and be strict with yourself!
Save money on presents in discount shops
This is especially good for children’s birthdays. Home Bargains is my favourite! They regularly have branded toys at big discounts. Stock is constantly changing, but recently I have seen brands such as Disney, Shopkins, My Little pony, Minions, WWE and Guardians of the Galaxy all with big reductions. It’s a great place to stock up on presents for the endless birthdays your child might attend over the year. I try and have around 2-3 “Emergency” presents at home that will work well for boys or girls. Playdoh or colouring sets are a good failsafe. Home Bargains and pound shops are also ideal for finding party bag prizes.
Be clever with cards and wrap
Greetings cards can cost a fortune these days, this is why I stock up at The Card Factory. They regularly have offers such as 10 cards for £1. While these may not be suitable for every birthday, particularly a close friend or family member, they are great for children and general birthdays such as far flung relatives or work colleagues.
Wrapping paper can also be costly, especially if you are suckered into buying something like a pink ballerina paper for a little girl’s present, which is then not really suitable for anyone else’s birthdays throughout the year. I try and buy a large roll of something that is suitable for both adults and children, such as a rainbow pattern or balloons. If you are really savvy you could stock up on Christmas paper with no Christmas design on (such as a plain silver) as this is generally much cheaper than birthday wrap.
It’s another no-brainer, but saving any giftbags to reuse not only reduces waste but cuts your costs down too. Being an ex-teacher I have a whole drawerful of these!
Save money and declutter by regifting where appropriate
To regift or not to regift? People can be very divided about this, but as I’ve got older I have completely changed my perspective. For years I had items cluttering up drawers unused solely because I was given them as a gift and felt like I should keep them. Since putting myself through the KonMari method I realised just how much clutter I was holding on to for sentimental and not practical reasons. I am a bit more ruthless these days and anything I know I will not use I will either sell, give away or donate. This could definitely be one way of repurposing something unwanted, as well as saving costs on a present. Just make sure the recipient will be happy with it!