It’s always the way- you have eleven whole months of little to no birthdays and then there’s one month of every year when every single one of your friends and family decides to be born and therefore has a birthday with a subsequent party. It’s usually around the same time your dish washer breaks and the rent is due and you snapped a heel on the only pair of going out heels you can walk in which means you’ve got more money going out than you’ve got coming in and before you know it you’re onto your last tenner.
First things first is don’t panic. Everyone is feeling the pinch and less people are celebrating birthdays with a big blow out simply because they can’t afford it and neither can their guests. If they’re wanting to go on a big night on the town why not suggest meeting them for a couple of drinks in a bar first so you can leave when they move onto the clubs and still get the last train home instead of paying for a taxi. Don’t feel obliged to come to the evening event, if you pop in during the daytime or the day before it will show that you have still made the time and effort to see them and that you’re not side stepping their birthday altogether. If they came to your party last year when times were better don’t feel pressured to go to theirs if you really can’t afford it, politely let them know that this year things are different and you just can’t get the funds to celebrate with them right now but that you’ll plan something soon once the cash is flowing. A good friend will understand.
Don’t feel like expensive cards and gifts are the only things that matter. A well thought out homemade card and present is just as good and will often be the thing that stands out in their minds for birthdays to come. Your local craft store or pound shop will have everything you’ll need to make a card and if it is a family friend or member of the family you could get your kids to help with their creative skills.
Homemade cards win hands down over expensive ones that will only get thrown out after a while. If knitting, crocheting and the like really isn’t your forte then have a browse through charity shops for gift boxes and nearly new items for much less, you might even stumble across some designer finds or old editions of books or films you know they love.
Becky Bell is a lover of arts and crafts and writes on behalf of craftsite.co.uk