What is the difference between:
- Spouse giving birthday gift of check, cash, or gift card to be used as recipient desires;
- Spouse taking specific list of items, shopping, and then wrapping them as presents for the big day;
- Birthday person spending money in budget for what they want
We recently decided that this year we're simply going to distribute the budgeted cash for our birthdays and allow the person whose birthday it is to go buy what they want.
It's great to open up a fabulous gift from your spouse and say, "wow! That was really thoughtful!"
But in our family, at this moment, it's not really the best option. Why? Because our wants and needs are pretty specific. The last thing we need is more stuff in the house that needs to have a home or that we're going to end up selling in a garage sale. If we want something, then we want that particular thing. Also, time is awful. In order for my husband to go shopping he'd have to take what little time we have together to do it. I'd much rather spend time with him and spend the money however I want it.
This year I spent my money on two things. One was a keyboard that goes to the PDA I use for my business. This will allow me to focus on writing inbetween clients, keep better client notes, and so forth. It was $20.00.
The rest was put towards a laptop.
The only thing I don't like is that I don't feel like, "my husband bought these things for me." It's not like a piece of jewelry that I can glow about and say, "Oh thank you for the compliment! My husband picked this out himself." Yes, he contributed most of the money towards the budget that was put towards these things. Yes, he helped me pick out what I wanted and was a great sounding board. But when it comes down to it, I'm the one that actually bought them.
I don't know if any of that makes sense. We'll see how things go shortly.
For our anniversary (five days before my birthday--what was I thinking?) we decided that instead of getting each other gifts--we didn't budget very much at all--we're going to have one nice dinner and have a great evening together.