If you’re accustomed to exchanging extravagant gifts with your spouse, skipping gifts for a year may seem extreme. But, hey, when you really want to get out of debt, it has to be a little extreme. Plus, it’s just one year. I guarantee that in 5 or 10 or 20 years, you won’t care that you and your spouse skipped gifts that one time in 2016.
The big gifting holidays that came to mind are:
- Valentine’s Day
- (and possibly mother’s & father’s day if you have kiddos)
- That’s 3 or 5 gifts right there! But if you have a combined household budget (which you should if you’re married) then it’s 6-10 gifts.
If you have a gifts sinking fund budget in place, you already know these numbers, but I’ll break them down just for the example. Say you spend $50 per person for each occasion, which is less than a lot of people spend. So, $100 total on each holiday… on the low end.
Skipping gifts for one year would save you $500.
Or, like we’ve done some years, set a really low limit and get creative. $10 per person per occasion would be only spending $100 for the whole year.
Do you know how much you usually spend on spouse gifts? How much would you save if you cut down to $10 per person per holiday, or to just skip gifts all together this year?
Now there’s an important disclaimer for this one – you have to both 100% agree.
We were joking with friends about how we skipped out on birthday and christmas gifts for each other last year in our crazy debt payoff mode, and he laughed saying, “that’s something she would say to do and then she would go get me something and be disappointed that I didn’t get her something.”
Haha!! We all burst out laughing.
If you agree not to do gifts, then YOU CAN’T DO GIFTS. NO RULE BREAKING + NO BEING DISAPPOINTED WHEN HE DOESN’T GET YOU A GIFT BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT YOU AGREED ON.
You can still show the love.
- Go on a date (from your date budget) around that holiday
- Set aside a night at home together to chat, watch a movie, and just hangout.
- Bake a fun dessert or favorite meal for the other
- Use a little of your personal spending money to buy a $5 bouquet, or use a BOGO coupon for a cheap local restaurant.
- Use swagbucks to purchase restaurant gift cards.
- If you have littles, give the other person a Saturday to themselves and a $10 starbucks card.
- Or google one of those lists for 100 ways to have a free date night.
There are tons of ways to express that you love your spouse without spending much money. What are your ideas? Share in the comments!