Slice from a Sven: Unwrapping the gift (category) 🎁
With Father’s Day just behind us and Mother’s Day shortly before it, I thought now would be a great time to unwrap that all-important Gifts category in your 22seven budget.
Now, I don’t know about you, but my budget’s certainly been thrown off once or twice in the past because of an unexpected gift. But, the thing is, oftentimes we do actually have all the special gifting dates available to us…we just fail to plan in advance. And suddenly, Father’s day creeps up on us and we have to scrounge around in the piggy bank to make a plan (sorry for another pair of socks, dad!).
I like to check my calendar for the full year, and mark off any special days where I may need to spend a little money to spoil someone. Then, I use 22seven’s future budgeting feature and plan my gift budgets for the year. You could also plan your gifts on a monthly basis, checking your calendar (or Facebook) each month and budgeting accordingly.
Just in case
If planning is not your thing, you could try setting a standard budget for gifts each month, say R500, for example. This method definitely involves less work, but it’s also less accurate.
If you want to cover all your bases, you could plan your gift budget ahead of time and add a little extra on top of that for anything unforeseen. Or even better, put that extra amount towards an emergency savings fund. Then, if you don’t use it, it will grow, and if you do use it, well that’s what emergency savings are for!
At the end of the day, budgeting is a very personal thing, so it’s best to do what works for your lifestyle and personality.
Which Spending Group do I choose?
We Svens get this question surprisingly often, and again, I’ll stress that your budget is personal. If you usually spend on gifts every month, then Day-to-Day is probably the group for you. If it tends to be a rare spend for you during the year, you might want to consider allocating your gift spend to your Exceptions Spending Group. You can read more about our Spending Groups and how to use them here.
It’s the thought that counts
It’s cliche, but that usually means it holds true. The important thing is to show the people in your life that you care, without breaking the bank. You can always find a budget friendly way to spoil your loved ones, whether it be a homemade card or a picnic in the park.
Remember that your financial journey is exactly that — a journey! You might slip up and forget to plan for gifts, or you might end up spending more than you bargained for. The important thing is that you learn along the way and ultimately make your budget and the different categories work for you!