01 June 2010


Three times a year, Josh and I are plagued (how dramatic) with the decision of how to buy each other gifts.  Christmas, our anniversary (May), and our birthdays (12 days apart in June).  Each time it's the same scenario.

  • Do we buy something together, as a "gift for us?"
  • Do we go shopping together and each buy what the other really wants?
  • Do we go shopping separately and hope for the best?

For as long as I remember we've pretty much chosen our own gifts for each occasion.  There are a few exceptions, which made me think-- how did we get to this point?  It's almost a tradition now, but it kind of feels like a rut.  And Josh and I aren't too keen on getting stuck in a rut.

Being debt free has really got my mind thinking, because now we can afford to spend more on each other.  And if there's anyone I want to spend a ton of money on, it's definitely my sweetie.

  • My first birthday that we were together, I was visiting my family in Florida.  Although Josh and I had only been dating a month, UPS delivered a package with two BKE shirts and a pair of BKE shorts.  Not cheap, that's for sure.

  • The next year he took me out to eat, and then to the mall where I could pick out anything I wanted.  I decided on a $10 pair of sunglasses.  Classy.  Two days later (on my actual birthday) he proposed.

  • The next year, we were married, and I can't remember what he bought me.  But I will tell you that the second our finances came together, expensive birthdays came to a screeching halt.

And that's where it began, I believe.  The "let's go shopping together to find me a gift" tradition.  Mainly because I was scared of what he would buy.  My honey loves to shower me with gifts.  But the greatest gift to me was sticking to a budget.

But now the budget isn't as big of a deal.  Sure, we stick to it, but we have a lot more wiggle room.  And one place that we want to make sure we invest in is ourselves.  For the past 4 years we have either struggled, or put every last penny towards savings.  Two years ago Josh's birthday present was tickets to Six Flags.  They were on a killer deal, we could drive there in a day and not have to get a hotel room, and when we went, we didn't eat or spend one extra penny at the park.  We packed sandwiches and refilled bottles of water.

We also called it vacation.  :)

So how do you buy for the ones you love?  

Do you know exactly what they want and go get it?  

Do you go shopping together?  

Do they tell you what they want?  

Do you set a limit?

1 comment:

Drew and Rachel said...

Susan, I love getting presents for Drew, and he loves shopping for me too. We LOVE presents! It's like a designated time to show each other how we much we care by getting STUFF! It's good to have a limit, or a goal. Like for Christmas, we've done stockings. Everything has to fit in a Christmas stocking!

I enjoy shopping for Drew in "stealth" missions - talking him out of buying a stool at Wood You only to buy it the next day and hide it in the attic, or hiding away cash when he's not paying attention so he doesn't see my purchase on the banking statement (this is where our cash budget comes way in handy!)

The best presents, Susan, are the ones that come when I'm not expecting it - flowers delivered to work on a random day, or a new piece of art delicately hung in an empty spot.

We rarely make purchases together. My favorite part of presents is the surprise. This year for our anniversary, Drew bought "us" a present for our home, which is a win-win since I love surprises and Drew loves shopping!

Limit-setting is important in my book, but not in Drew's. It's been an area of compromise. Our biggest issue Christmas. Drew loves to give and get presents, and he will spend until I cut him off entirely. I feel pressured to buy him things but hate to spend money. Since I procrastinate I end up with a more limited budget than Drew, and we're both disappointed. Maybe this year we'll try something different - shopping together or buying each other ONE present or taking a "vacation." :)

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