While being young, broke and beautiful is all well and good, some people’s finances are more jacked than others. That’s why we’ve invited Betsy Crouch (aka Coach $izzle) to come onboard and dole out some much needed advice. She is a professional financial coach after all. If you’ve got a question you’d like answered please email her firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe your question will be the next one answered.
“Coach Sizzle, I have a number of friends who are expecting babies. I don’t have much money to spend, and I don’t want to buy anything from “baby’s r us” do you have any inexpensive and meaningful gift ideas?” – S.A.
Just like the wedding wave, there is a baby wave, and sometimes multiple waves: many friends having children at the same time. What a blessing! Sometimes this can feel stressful when you don’t feel like you have the funds to buy gifts, or the friend expecting the baby has registered for many expensive baby things. Also, you may feel resistant to buying something from a large store that feels impersonal. After hearing from friends that they received 5 times as much stuff as they needed for the first 6 months of their child’s life, it is motivating to think of other things that would be helpful and meaningful.
Ultimately, we want to communicate our love and support of our friends and their family, right? There are many ways to do that.
Make something: I absolutely adore my neice. She is almost 2, and I have bought her three things: a giraffe stuffed animal, “snuggle puppy” (my favorite baby book), and “the peace book.” Peace was her first word by the way, yessss. I know that I am the exception to the rule. I am not even temped to buy her stuff. She is blessed to have parents who provide for her and many friends and family who shower her with gifts. If she ever needed anything I would certainly buy it for her. I did a charcoal drawing of her that took me 12 hours. I gave it to my sister and brother in law. It hangs in her room. She points to it and says, “bets.” (heart melting) Another “make something” idea is knitting. I can’t knit, but if you can, knit something.
Go in on something with friends or family members: If you want to give something from the registry that is out of your range, go in on it with others!
Give something to your friend/Do something for your friend: If you know that your friend has received many gifts and that the basics are covered, Re-gift that gift certificate (restaurant/spa) that you received/won etc. Is there a favor you could do for your friend to help make their life easier? Do it.
Spend quality time with your friend’s kid: Offer to babysit and give your friends a chance to have a date night! This is a great gift to your friends AND you can spend time with their child. Want to communicate to their child that you care about them? Spend time with them and tell them. Ok, they may be too young to remember or get what you are saying, but when they are older you can tell them how awesome you were to them when they were little.
Don’t want to buy something? Give money for the future: Does your friend have a college fund open for their child? If you don’t want to contribute to that or if they don’t have one, consider buying a savings bond. My thirty year old friend just received $2,000 from a savings bond given to her as a baby. Niiiice.
Buying something is not required to communicate love and support to your friend and to their child. Be yourself and give from your heart whether you buy something or not.