Party pooper

It seems like everyone was born about this time of year. Of course, this isn’t reality, but I am sure that my family has had more than our fair share of birthday cake recently.

Combined, my kids have attended eight children’s birthday parties in the past month. When you add in my friends' birthdays, a baby shower, a wedding, and an upcoming bar mitzvah, I am practically a full-time gift giver. While I love a party as much as the next person, I can’t help but notice that these celebrations are beginning to eat up all my spare minutes and a good chunk of my discretionary income.

I cannot find the average amount consumers spend on gifts other than Christmas, but I can tell you that I’ve spent more than I budgeted for. Here is what I’ve spent in two months’ time (this does not include what my husband spent on my birthday!):

8 birthday gifts for my kids' friends: $120
1 birthday fit for my niece: $25
2 birthday gifts fo rmy friends: $100
1 baby shower gift: $25
1 bar mitzvah gift: $50
1 wedding gift: $65
Total: $345

Ouch! That is more than my car payment. My only consolation is that I spent under $50 per month on gifts during the months of July and August. Instead of riding this roller coaster, I think my best course of action is to determine what I spend during an entire year on gifts (including Christmas). When I get a handle on what I spend annually, I can divide the total amount by 12 and save that amount each month. Maybe I will even designate a savings account for this purpose and have the amount automatically transferred. Wish I had thought of this in July….

If you have other ideas on how to get this budget item under control, please gift them to me through the comments section.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating Better Business Bureau
    MMI is proud to have achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and improving marketplace trust. The BBB investigates charges of fraud against both consumers and businesses, sets standards for truthfulness in advertising, and evaluates the trustworthiness of businesses and charities, providing a score from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
  • Financial Counseling Association of America Financial Counseling Association of America
    MMI is a proud member of the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA), a national association representing financial counseling companies that provide consumer credit counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling, bankruptcy counseling, debt management, and various financial education services.
  • Trustpilot Trustpilot
    MMI is rated as “Excellent” (4.9/5) by reviewers on Trustpilot, a global, online consumer review platform dedicated to openness and transparency. Since 2007, Trustpilot has received over 116 million customer reviews for nearly 500,000 different websites and businesses. See what others are saying about the work we do.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development - Equal Housing Opportunity Department of Housing and Urban Development
    MMI is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide consumer housing counseling. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD provides support services directly and through approved, local agencies like MMI.
  • Council on Accreditation Council On Accreditation
    MMI is proudly accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. COA’s thorough, peer-reviewed accreditation process is designed to ensure that organizations like MMI are providing the highest standard of service and support for clients and employees alike.
  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling National Foundation for Credit Counseling
    MMI is a longstanding member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the nation’s largest nonprofit financial counseling organization. Founded in 1951, the NFCC’s mission is to promote financially responsible behavior and help member organizations like MMI deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.