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Weddinggrad hero
• Apr 25, 2022

Weddings and graduations can quickly become costly for those celebrating with happy couples or grads. This is especially so if you’re filling your social calendar with multiple events among your family and friends this spring season.

Gift-giving doesn’t have to drain your bank account, though, nor should it. Consider getting creative in honoring the special people in your life while staying within a reasonable budget. Here are five ideas to help keep the gift spending under control.

Thrifts for the Thrifty

Visit a good thrift store and you may be pleasantly surprised to see new-in-the-box items suitable for wedding gifts – glassware, cookware, fancy wine openers, kitchen knives. Just because another couple wasn’t interested or found themselves with one set of wine goblets too many doesn’t mean your friends won’t be happy and grateful to receive them.

The neighborhood second-hand shop also may offer good deals on items for your favorite high school or college graduate, too. Look among the artwork, posters, furniture, music, electronics and vintage records, clothes, and collectible toys for the perfect, one-of-a-kind gift.

Join Forces

Talk to other wedding guests or family members to see if a few of them would be interested in going in together on a gift. Sure, it might mean a smaller number of pretty packages for the recipients, but they might enjoy one “bigger” present that you buy together at least as much.

A wedding couple, for instance, might appreciate the cool, pricey coffee maker from their registry from a group of friends who might not otherwise afford it on their own. The same likely holds for the graduate and the luxury carry-on luggage that your group presents.

Gifted Miles

If you’ve amassed many frequent flier miles and don’t plan to use them anytime soon, consider gifting them to your newlywed friends or the new grad. Transferable hotel, credit card and other rewards similarly could make welcome gifts.

Whether your friends or family members are looking for new adventures or simply hoping to make an extra trip home to visit their parents, you can help them get there without directly tapping into your bank account.

Homegrown Gifts or Services

If you have a knack for arts or crafts – sewing, knitting, crocheting, pottery, photography, painting – think about offering the ultimate personalized gift, something you make with your own hands.

What married couple or new graduate wouldn’t appreciate the warmth of a blanket you crocheted yourself – a gift for now and possibly a family heirloom for generations? Or a pottery piece they can use as a vase or planter, or just enjoy as beautiful art?

If you’re not artsy or crafty, you might offer to pet sit for the newlyweds or perform some other helpful tasks while they’re on their honeymoon.

Or if you’re good in the kitchen, consider a “gift certificate” good for a delicious homemade dinner when they return. It could be something you deliver that they can pop in the oven, or, if you’re a close friend, a romantic meal you prepare or arrange in their home as their personal chef, before you quickly exit so they can enjoy it on their own.

Registry Strategies and Alternatives

Speaking of gift registries, bear in mind that while it’s nice to consult a guide to give a couple or graduate something they want, you’re not obligated to order from the list. Gifts are freely given expressions of support, friendship, love, celebration, or admiration, not an order fulfillment contract.

If you like the idea of sending something from the list but need to limit spending, explore the modestly priced gifts – if there are items in that range that you’d be excited to give. You might find a registry item for a better price elsewhere. If you do, see if there’s a way to mark the item as given on the registry, and make sure your retailer includes a gift receipt if available.

Beyond ways to shop the registry on a budget, consider simply finding a thoughtful gift that fits your price range, even if it’s your own idea and not the recipients’. There’s a world of useful, fun gifts that a couple or grad may not have considered when they assembled their wish list.

A small French coffee press, an elegant but simple cutting board or a pair of compact binoculars may be the very gifts that the bridal couple or graduate find themselves using again and again a decade or three down the road.

For More on Personal Finance Topics

    If you have more questions about other personal finance topics that matter to you, visit the Learning Center on TD Bank’s website.

    We hope you found this helpful. This article is based on information available in April 2022 and is subject to change. It is for general information purposes only. Our content is not intended to provide legal, tax, investment, or financial advice or to indicate that a particular TD Bank product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

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