Dating on a Budget: Birthday Gifts

cupcake_candles.jpgToday is my Birthday!! Another year older and another year wiser, I’d like to think.

Birthdays are great, but I am reminded of how difficult it is to decide what to give your boyfriend or girlfriend for their birthday. If you are anything like me, I am always on the hunt for something different or unpredictable so that it is special. I want to surprise my boyfriend with something he will really love. Then on top of that I have to consider my small, college budget. Yet, over time I have discovered that asking a few questions can open up your mind to different kinds of ideas. Then just splash in a little creative thinking and you have a cost effective, useful gift.   


1.       Be Practical: What is something he/she needs?

I am going to assume that many of your boyfriends and girlfriends are also on a limited budget. This means that there could be some things they need, but don’t want to purchase right now.  To clarify, when I say needs, I don’t mean the basic needs like bread and toothpaste, but a broader term of needs. For example, they may need a new pair of jeans or new headphones because their old ones just gave out. It will be a gift that you know will be utilized!

2.       Think “Couple”: What is something we could enjoy together?

Doing things together is always special. It makes for a gift AND a memory. Try to think of events happening in the area or create your own. Events like a live concert, a sports game, or a play production can be fantastic options, but not normally in the budget. A low-cost event could be a concert in the park, tour a brewery, or a free museums visit day.  Research and find something you would enjoy together.

It also doesn’t have to be an event; it could even just be an activity you like to do together. For example, my boyfriend just got me season two of Duck Dynasty. I loved it! We both love to watch this show together and I am super pumped to visit him again to watch the season.

**Tip: Join Groupon or Goldstar for discounted prices on events.

3.       Try DIY: What special thing could I make?

DIY is great because it will fit your budget and it seems to be a more heart-felt gift. Yet, it can be very tricky to think of something they will enjoy. Pictures is often the go-to for DIY. You could make a frame with your favorite picture together or even create a whole scrapbook out of your pictures. Don’t forget food! Food is always a win-win in my eyes. Make a favorite recipe or try something new. Either way, you skills and efforts will be greatly noted.

4.       Last Resort: What could be my last resort?

If you are still stumped or all your ideas have falling through, remember, there are always gift cards! What a wonderful creation and really everyone enjoys getting a gift card, because it gives them a little freedom to get whatever they would like. Worried it is too boring? Then get a gift card at a unique store or restaurant. For example a cupcake shop like Sprinkles or a local boutique. You could even create your own personal gift cards like, “One from Back Massage” or “One free Laundry Service.” Your options are endless.

Happy Birthday Shopping!