5 Go-to Gifts that Won't Break the Bank

March 18, 2018


It's taken me exactly 31 years of my life to figure out that one of my love languages is gift-giving. (Okay maybe like eh, 24 years, because we're definitely not thinking about our love languages until at least age seven, right?)

I don't know why it took so long because there is a definite moment in my life that, looking back, I can now point to where it should have been blatantly obvious. You know...midway through that one fateful August (2014) where I had exactly $14 left in my checking account, but still had an entire two weeks left before I got paid again, YET I had successfully purchased and gifted birthday presents to two of my best friends just the week before. 

That's when I should have known.

But the truth is - I never thought gifts were one of my love languages (as in Gary Chapman's 5 Love Languages) because while I do love receiving gifts, I never ranked that action super high in the broad scheme of things because I'd rather spend quality time with you and acts of kindness make me giddy. It took a while to realize that while gifts weren't necessarily my favorite love language to receive, they were my favorite language to express.

For the last 3 years, after beginning my Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University journey, I've consistently struggled with a bit of guilt for not being able to give gifts the way that I would like. And for nearly 3 years, I thought it was guilt stemming from the societal norm of not showing up to a wedding/party/dinner/celebration without something in your hands. But after a deep dive in an attempt to get to the root of said guilt, I now know it was just stemming from a sadness of, due to strict budget restrictions, not always being able to show that I care in a way that is most natural to me. 

However, more recently for a friend's birthday, I gave her a coffee mug and single-size serving of her favorite cold brew. It was less than $10 and it brought me as much giving joy as if I had spent $50. And more importantly, she loved it, too.

It was in that moment that I realized I could still shower my people with gifts that are meaningful and intentional, but that won't break the bank. (I.e. still leaving money in the budget to meet my aggressive debt payoff goal and still have a social life.)

So with that, here are 6 gift ideas that won't break the bank. 

  1. This cute little mug from TARGET ($5.99) and a $5 STARBUCKS gift card.
  2. This great and useful cord taco (best name ever) from FASHIONABLE ($9)
  3. This so-cute-I-want-to-die initial trinket dish from ANTHROPOLOGIE. (My favorite go-to gift for newly engaged friends that need a place to store their newly acquired rock and have a soon-to-be new last initial to get used to). ($12)
  4. A book by a favorite author or on a topic the person is extremely passionate about. DAVE RAMSEY has a few I'm in to. ($10)
  5. The coziest, teensiest 3-piece set from TARGET for that new baby entering the world. ($10)
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All these tiny gifts go a long way and won't leave a huge monetary footprint in your account.  

So here are the lessons we've learned, folks:

  • You can still give tokens of care, appreciation, and love without breaking the bank
  • You should probably figure out what your love language is as soon as possible
  • I love Target

What other inexpensive gifts do you love to give? I'd love to hear your suggestions!