Give services, experiences or time instead of a traditional gift. Maybe you canâ€™t afford a monthâ€™s worth of diapers, but you love babysitting. You donâ€™t have the cash to purchase the last thing on the registry (a $500 china set) but youâ€™re going to be in town while the happy couple is away on their honeymoon. You canâ€™t afford to bring some brisket to the backyard bash, but you donâ€™t have to rush off to anything afterward. You can turn those good intentions into gifts that are just as good as gift-wrapped.
Offer to give the new parents their first evening out by watching the baby for free when theyâ€™re ready for a break. Or send the bride and groom off with a promise to haul all their gifts back to their house and clean it up for them. Or maybe stick around after the party and clear all the clutter so your hosts donâ€™t have to. By doing an action like this, youâ€™re still contributing to the cause without breaking your bank.
Truly, a party of any sort should be more about spending time with people you care about and not about winning favor through presents. If a friend gives you a hard time about not coming up with a gift, you may want to re-evaluate the friendship instead of your spending habits.
[Man babysitting image via Shutterstock]