Social Events Can Deplete Your Funds

Just one of the many social events this summer.

Weddings, we’ve got weddings — and engagement parties, bridal showers, baby showers. The list goes on and on. ‘Tis the season, though. We’ve been very busy the past few weekends (well, *I* have with the showers, since Mr. Saver didn’t have to attend). Even Money Funk and A Gai Shan Life have recently discussed the costs of special events.

I never skimp on gifts — on the contrary, I found myself spending more than my self-imposed monetary limit for a recent baby shower — but I do find it difficult to attend every event. Sometimes, they overlap. Recently, I had a baby shower and a bridal shower the same day. The baby shower was for one of Mr. Saver’s cousins, while the bridal shower was for an old high school friend of mine. I couldn’t get go both, since they were 90 minutes apart by car. I suppose I saved on both gas and a gift, but I’m sorry I missed the event.

Then, another of Mr. Saver’s cousins has a bridal shower coming up. The event is at a nice restaurant, so I’m happy about that. Again, I spent a bit more than I’d budgeted on the gift, but not by much. I did have a 20% off one item coupon for the store, which lessened the sting a bit.

A third cousin (it seems like Mr. Saver has a million of them, right?) just got engaged. They’re having a celebratory family dinner — a “small one” — of about 30 invitees. So there’s another gift, this time of cash. I’ll also have to leave work early to make it to the engagement party, since it’s on a Friday, and I usually don’t get home until 8 p.m. to begin with.

There there’s the wedding of the aforementioned high school chum next month — also 90 minutes away, in another state, at 3 pm on a Sunday afternoon. And the bridal shower cousin’s wedding is in July; we’ll likely be staying over at a hotel for the evening. Cha-ching! (Yes, I have cousins, but all but one is 20-25 years older than me!)

There’s a baby shower or two in my future — at the end of the summer and in the fall, I’m guessing — so the spending is far from over. And before I know it, Christmas will be upon me again.

Then there are barbecues, and there are cost whether we’re guests or the hosts. Obviously, being guests means we’ll bring beer and food/dessert, but hosting entails much more expenditure — you gotta feed your guests, right?

Where Budgeting Comes In

Because of all these upcoming social events, I know I’ll have to carefully budget our funds in order to not be caught short at the end of the month. Since buying our home a year ago, I’ve had to truly learn to budget. We’re not stretched to the limit, but I have to pay much closer attention to where our money goes than I did when we were only renters.

How do you handle all of these warm-weather social events? Do you turn down invitations because you can’t find the money in your budget?

8 comments to Social Events Can Deplete Your Funds

  • Alice

    I don’t turn down events to close friends and family. I have a “gift” line in my budget and put $50-100 a month there so I am never unprepared for family birthdays, showers, weddings, and Christmas. I prefer to give a nice gift for a shower/birthday and always cash for a wedding. Only exchange one Christmas gift each with two family members as well as a donation to a kids toy drive so that makes me able to make it through all seasons. As I am in my twenties, everyone seems to be getting married or having a baby, so I find it helps my sanity to keep the gift line in the budget. Planning ahead! I think if it was someone I am not close to, I would not accept the invitation but send a small gift/card. There is no reason to go to everything you’re invited to.

    • Nicole

      @Alice: It’s always good to plan ahead and have a gift budget. These events are all for family members except for one of the weddings, which is for a close friend. So I do want to attend them. It’s just feast or famine sometimes with these events — and we’re in “feast” mode right now.

  • Dang, girl. You have a busy schedule! Good luck budgeting for it all.

    BTW, what dates are you going to Vegas? Oh wait, you said June. We’re going in July for our honeymoon. Supposed to be a surprise, but us women can always figure things out. 😉

  • We don’t turn down social events, but we don’t give lavish gifts. We enjoy friends and family which is why we enjoy celebrating events with people dear to us. If that is the intention of the people who invite us, I don’t think it matters much whether we spend a lot of money on gifts or not.

  • Summer can be an expensive season! You didn’t even mention taking a vacation for yourself ;). I’m lucky so far this year, only two cousins whom I’m close to are having babies. No weddings in the near future, since most of my friends and family members are married. I have a feeling that by fall things may change!

    • Nicole

      There is a vacation, at least — we’re heading to Las Vegas at the end of June. Pleasure/visits (we have family out there). So while it will be hot, at least I will be away somewhere. But we did pay off the trip already, just need to bring spending money. Good thing neither of us are big gamblers!

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