Now’s the perfect time to start thinking about a budget if you have weddings, parties, and other events that require gifts if you want to avoid manic depression that stems from seeing a five-figure balance on your credit card statement.
Also: A budget plan for guys who hate budget plans
To help you manage your money better, we spoke with Donna Skeels Cygan, author of The Joys of Financial Security, for tips to keep your bank account in tact.
#1. GO HOMEMADE (OR HOMEMADE-ISH)
Homemade gifts aren’t as lame as you might think when you’re dating someone. In the event of her birthday or Valentine’s Day, if you and your girlfriend have agreed on not exchanging gifts, it’s bullshit. She’s going to get you something, so having a homemade surprise up your sleeve will absolutely keep her happy. And if she’s happy, that could make you a happy guy later on. Hint: naked sex.
Also: 5 Great Gifts For New Girlfriends
Same goes for family members or close friends; they’ll enjoy the effort. However, with your boss, tread carefully. He probably won’t appreciate your best watercolor painting, so you might have to shell out a few bucks. Overall, spending money on materials will come out to less than a gift made by some poor kid in a poverty-stricken country.