Friday, March 04, 2011

Birthday gift for a 4-year-old (and free to boot!)

I took a financial planning course several years ago, and the instructor was going over general allotments for typical expenses. A woman (not me) raised her hand and asked how gifts fit into the budget. She mentioned that between her kids's friends and family members, they attended 10 parties per month where gifts were expected. The instructor laughed and said that if you are trying to save money, you don't give gifts. Period.

Even being mindful of how much I spend per month on other people, there is still inevitably some allotment towards gifts. A cousin has a bridal shower, or a baby. A holiday comes up and I buy treats for the office. I don't think I could ever get this number to zero. But -- I do try to make more things, and look in my gift stash first when a new invitation comes in to see if I have anything that fits the bill.

This coloring book and colored pencil set was a freebie from Faber-Castell. I think I found about it via Money saving Mom (a good source for coupons and freebies like this). Typically you "like" a company on facebook, and they send you a sample or, in this case, two full-sized products. Hank is a little young to fully appreciate these items, so I held onto them as a potential gift.

A little friend of ours turned 4 last month, so I decided to make him a colored pencil roll using corresponding colored fabrics for each pencil. There are plenty of tutorials online for how to do this, but I kind of just winged mine (I realize I should have left the outer strips longer to account for sewing the pieces together - doh!) The fabrics were all from my stash, and we had a reusable bag with a jungle theme on hand, so the cost of this gift was $0 (in current dollars - I realize that yes, I did at some point pay money for the fabric, but nothing when I needed the gift).

I wish they could all be $0 gifts - maybe we would be able to stay on our monthly budget after all!


Favorite of the day: N/A

Working on: Resting. We are sick.


Jenn said...

Sorry to hear that you are all sick! Hope you feel better soon!

I love the pencil roll! I've seen tutes on them, but would never have thought to color co-ordinate to the pencils! How clever!

mascanlon said...

Love the color coordinated pencil roll!

mamaTAVE said...

I also admire the color coordination! What a wonderful gift. Hope you were able to rest this weekend and are feeling better as the new week begins.

Rebecca said...

Very cute! A friend recently asked me to make her son a crayon roll (I always give him handmade gifts and they are well received.) I'm not much of a sewer but I'll try. And I love your idea of the coordinating fabrics and of course the cost! I think I'll have the fabric in my stash but will need to buy some crayons! Not too bad though. :)