October is for birthday’s and all things fall. If you don’t have a birthday in October, who are you? It’s the strangest thing, but I swear all my friends have October birthdays. October is the best time for a birthday! The weather is perfect. That chill in the morning, being able to wear booties (TG), pumpkins, Halloween… to be a girl you have to like October. It’s practically a requirement.
So, this month I turned 20. Wtf? 20 years old is like so annoying. I don’t care if 18 is the real adult age, 20 is such a serious number. No joke, I got my midterm grades back on my birthday and I was like sh*t, I musssttt study! These grades reflect my future! Really though, this semester I have gone to more job fairs and internship expos than the average 19 year old. Maybe its a college thing, but I am taking this 20 thing so harshly. Once I get to 21, I think I’ll relax a little. But right now, I need to figure my sh*t out!
I think its super important to show your friends love when you guys are at different schools. As I turned 20, one of my best friends, Jackie, turned 19 and my other best friend, Hannah, turned 21. So one birthday was super exciting and fun (so bummed I couldn’t be there) and another was just another number to blow out on the cake. Being a college student and all, $$$ is a real struggle. It is hard to find an extra $20-30 to spare on a birthday gift for a friend, whether they return the deed or not. But I will tell you, it goes a long way, and money is just paper. Sometime down the road you will be able to make up for what you spent on the gift.
So heres some tips to gift giving while trying to manage a budget:
1. Shop around!
Managing a budget is all about tips and tricks. I would have loved to spend $40 on a Free People tank wrapped in a pretty box with a $5 card and send it via overnight shipping… but that is not reasonable! Instead, do your research. Find out when the gift receiver’s favorite store is having a sale and plan to go then. This may mean looking weeks in advance for a gift, but saving $10 means two Starbucks drinks for youuu!
2. DIY- Really just do it yourself
I have always tried to be that crafty girl. Oh my gosh I would try and try to make pictures and gifts and braid cute friendship bracelets. Unfortunately, I never caught on. My best friend Hannah, who just turned 21 (yay!), is so crafty and it all came from research and trail and error. Don’t buy the $5 card, make one. Don’t spend $30 on a necklace that costs $10 to make. First off, making the gift so much more heartfelt. Second, the time you spend crafting sparks creativity! And third, focusing on a project start to finish is such a great outlet and can be contagious onto other parts of your life… maybeeee like school work!
3. Don’t underestimate the power of a gift
A gift goes a long way. Small or big, the birthday girl/boy is sure to be thankful that you thought of them and grateful that they have a new little item! With that being said, don’t forget about decorating! I think we can all agree, there is nothing better than coming home to a bedroom filled with balloons and confetti while your friends hide in the closet. Personally, that is way more meaningful than a tee shirt or itemized gift. Remember… It’s the thought that counts, not the size.
4. Pay attention to the little things
My dads side of the family is such great gift givers. As I got older I started to realize that the small details in a gift are what make the gift special. Color detail, pattern detail, or even small gifts as details themselves are some things I’m talking about here. For example, a pink polka dot bow holding together three different gifts wrapped in nice wrapping paper is more memorable, and admirable, than a few gifts stuffed in a bag with some tissue paper hanging out of the top. Pay attention to those the minuscule things and don’t be afraid to spend the extra $3 for a little extra pop.
5. Make it meaningful
I can distinctly remember giving gifts that my friends will/have never used… dumb coffee cups, ugly homemade bracelets, lipgloss that they would never pick out. Thinking about that stuff is so frustrating! So, I have made a vow to myself to only purchase a gift that will be used by the birthday girl. This saves money and makes for a more thankful friend. My favorite gifts are things like a monogrammed keychain for car keys, a decorative pillow for the couch or bed, and a nice piece of jewelry. Other small gifts that are always good are things like G2 pens (the Cadillac of pens), stickers for a planner, food, or printed pictures.
6. Make it for two
I absolutley love the idea of doing a girls date between the birthday girl and the gift giver. Giving your time, not just your money, makes it more special. Birthday’s are such a fun time to celebrate whats to come, so a hike followed by coffee is perfect! Not only are you both getting a little exercise, you can chat about exciting things coming up while sharing beautiful scenery and fresh air! Other fun things could be a mani/pedi, cooking/baking, or going out for dinner and drinks. I would steer clear of things like movies or shows where you have to be quiet. If you do choose something along those lines, plan for chatting time before or after to show some love!
These tips don’t have to be just for birthday’s. Budgeting is always in season, so remember these tips as the holidays sneak up. To all you October babies out there, happy happy birthday! I LOVE OCTOBER!