This week, we’ll be sharing how manage special occasions for our extended family members. Here’s how we do it in the Eggimann family.
First of all, we do not have a huge extended family. Including parents, siblings, niece and nephew, we are working with 10 total. I know this is much less than many people. Even so, we make sure we have an ample gift budget each month. This was not financially possible earlier in our marriage and gift-giving was often a stress. (Actually, at that point, we just sent cards for birthdays.) Now we are able to set money aside regularly for gifts. Our monthly gift budget is separate from our Christmas gift budget, which we save for all year to avoid stress in November and December.
We try to keep things very simple for birthdays. We most often choose gift cards. These are always appreciated and I don’t really think there is a stigma anymore about them not being personal. Our top gift cards are Starbucks for the adults and itunes for the teens. If you have a Costco membership, I think you can buy 5 $20 Starbucks cards for $80. A decent savings, especially if you have several birthdays coming.
We have found photo gifts for the grandparents are well-received. Shutterfly has lots of different promotions, especially around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I have made photo magnets & photo mousepads. Recently, when we couldn’t really afford a larger gift (multiple weddings and babies at that time!), we sent photo greeting cards instead.
My last tip for when you run out of ideas: be unconventional. This Father’s Day, we sent both dads a $20 bill and told them to go out and buy a couple of steaks to grill.