Relationships are a juggling act of emotion and expectation. Then there are the annual events where you may or may not need to give a present – Valentine’s Day, birthday, and Christmas Day.
When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you get to know your boyfriend’s likes and interests. At the beginning of your relationship, buying a Christmas gift for a new boyfriend can feel like a massive challenge.
The big question is, how much to spend on these annual occasions for a boyfriend?
The amount you spend will depend on all the usual factors of your age, career relationship duration, and what you can afford. It helps to have a strategy towards gift buying, particularly for men, so that you do not end up settling for an overpriced gift that neither of you is comfortable to give or receive. A gift is a proxy for the depth of your feelings and showcases how well you know the other person.
Setting a Boyfriend Gift Budget
It sounds a bit cold and clinical, reducing the depth of your love for this wonderful person in your life to an amount of money in a budget.
But budgeting takes the stress out of the gift buying process and lets you concentrate on finding the perfect gift inside the parameters you set in advance.
These three occasions cover most gift buying needs over a year. If you plan, you can spot suitable presents ahead of Valentine’s Day, his birthday, or Christmas and get him an ideal gift with less stress.
Setting an appropriate budget for each occasion prevents the embarrassment of giving a wildly inappropriate excessive gift. Because spending too much can be as offensive as spending too little.
It is about meeting expectations – there is a sweet spot where the present is right and vast areas where you either offend or worry the recipient.
There is no rigid rule about how much you need to spend on a gift, and the average spend is affected by extreme highs and lows. Your age and circumstances will determine your budget as well as how long you’ve been dating.
How Much to Spend on Valentine’s Day for Boyfriend?
Valentine’s Day is for love and romance. It is all hearts and flowers and quality time together as a couple. Sentimental messages and meaningful love tokens are welcome and appropriate.
Despite the annual hype, only half of all men (56%) and women (54%) celebrate Valentine’s Day (source).
The average amount spent by women on Valentine’s day gifts is $106, according to the National Retail Federation. That figure includes spending on pets because a significant number of women prefer their dog to the man in their life.
Valentine’s Day is the event that you will spend the least amount as your boyfriend is likely to take the opportunity to show you how much he cares about you. There is a reason why most Valentine’s Day gift sets target men buying for women.
That first Valentine’s Day before you have got to know him well settle for a token gift and a modest amount, say $50 max. As the years go past, you will get a feel for the right level for your relationship with your boyfriend and can adjust your gift-buying budget accordingly.
Practical, consumable gifts like tea gift boxes or a personalized tea mug that you can fill with heart-shaped chocolates are a lighthearted and modestly priced Valentine’s Day tea gift for a new boyfriend.
How Much to Spend on Birthday Gift for Boyfriend?
Birthdays are personal to your boyfriend. It is his big day, and he takes center stage.
There is no hiding place with a birthday gift because it is all about him and how well you know his personality and interests.
Looking for an average spend on birthday gifts is problematic because unlike Christmas or Valentine’s Day, it is not straightforward working out what items people are buying as birthday gifts.
As a result, you come across various algebraic calculations to guide you to an appropriate amount. Try and work out the value of the depths of your feelings. Calculate his spend on an average date. Then take the relationship duration into account.
Well, putting all those factors into an equation is sure to take the romance away!
The birthday gift for your boyfriend is the one it makes sense to spend the most amount of money on, within reasonable limits.
A starting point is $50 for that first birthday gift, and then add $25 a year for a straight gift budget. You are probably going to throw in a meal, or an event, so you might want to budget around the $200 for the whole day.
Possibly more, possibly less…
How Much to Spend on Christmas Gift for Boyfriend?
Christmas is a gift-giving extravaganza where everyone gets into the gift-buying game. A Christmas gift for a boyfriend is one amongst many.
There is less anxiety about Christmas gift because the sheer volume of presents received makes one gift, even from you, less likely to be remarkable.
Of course, at Christmas, you exchange gifts, and there is the question of equality – did you value each other equally?
Have you been dating for less than a year? Then around $50 is the average spend for a new boyfriend, rising to $100 after the first year (source).
You may consider setting aside a small amount for simple gifts for your significant other’s family if you’re visiting.
How Long Have You Been Dating?
The length of your relationship will affect the amount you are willing to spend on a gift for any occasion.
But every relationship progresses at a different pace, and it is the depth of the relationship that guides the amount you are willing to spend on a present.
New Boyfriend – Under 3 Months
The relationship is new and exciting. You may be all in, but you are short on details about his life, and he does not know you and your personality yet.
The word here is restraint, keep your gift-giving modest to around $25 as a maximum. At this stage, you are acknowledging the occasion, but cautiously. An excellent strategy is to go for a modestly priced item with personalization.
For Valentine’s Day or a birthday instead of agonizing over the gift, offer to take him out for an experience you can both enjoy like bowling, a concert, or a trip out.
At this stage, spending time together is more beneficial than trying to guess his taste in gifts.
Practical, consumable gifts like tea gift boxes or a personalized tea mug that you can fill with heart-shaped chocolates are a lighthearted and modestly priced Valentine’s Day gift for a new boyfriend.
When it comes to birthdays and Christmas, something like a personalized tea tumbler is practical and stylish and is useful for commuting to and from work.
There is Always a First Time
In your first year together, there is going to be a Valentine’s Day, a Christmas, and a birthday. After three months, the relationship may be settling down a little and heading towards a more durable place in your life.
You may feel tempted to buy an expensive present because in your mind he is your soul mate and you are going to spend the rest of your lives together. All those feel-good hormones rushing through your veins can make you feel a little giddy.
Take a deep breath, and instead of rushing to spend a lot of money, concentrate your efforts on buying a meaningful or useful gift or both.
It’s not just the thought that counts, but the effort that went into selecting a gift that you think he will like. Steer clear of expensive electronics (most men will buy the gadgets they want) and buy something fun or personalized.
Restrict yourself to a maximum budget of $100 for all occasions. But you can find appropriate, meaningful gifts for less.
When choosing those first gifts, a tea theme works on many levels. Tea is a drink that most people enjoy and fits into their lives.
A tea gift basket is flexible for any occasion as it contains useable products for your boyfriend, or he can use it to provide a choice of beverages for guests.
A traveling tea set containing a teapot and teacups in a case is suitable for birthdays or Christmas.
Combine the gift with an IOU’ a trip to watch the sunrise or sunset at a local beauty spot, and you can both enjoy using his present while building fun memories!
After the First Time Comes the Second Time
After you and your boyfriend have passed through that fragile first year, you have some experience with gift buying for him.
Did he enjoy the first year’s gifts, or did he look somewhat bemused? If he is really into you, he probably raved about the gift even if he hated it.
This is an excellent sign for your budding romance, but you might want to consider different gifts this year.
When in doubt about the amount to spend, $100 covers most occasions, perhaps less on Valentine’s Day and more on his birthday.
As a simple guide on your relative gift spends for BF:
- Valentine’s Day – Less
- Christmas – In-between
- Birthday – More
You’ve had a year with this guy, what are his hobbies and interests? What does he eat and drink, and how do you spend your time together?
Answers to these questions will give you plenty of ideas for excellent gifts.
If your boyfriend is a tea enthusiast, then a selection of high-quality teas in individual tins or canisters will be welcome. They are such versatile gifts that teas and tea-related items are suitable for birthdays, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day.
Most homes can find a place for art ceramics – a handmade and individually decorated tea mug will soon become his favorite drinking vessel.
Does he like Asian cuisine? Try a Gongfu tea set for serving green tea with style and treat him to a Chinese take away for his birthday.
For the outdoor or sporting type, a glass tea infuser is practical and ecological.
Alternatively, instead of stressing about the perfect gift, you could help him get something he really wants with a gift card – 55% of Americans would prefer a gift card to a physical gift, that number increases to 61% for the 35-44 age bracket (source).
Too soon in the relationship for that?
Maybe not, maybe it is time to have a conversation because Valentine’s Day, birthdays and Christmas are going to come round every year and if you ask him what he wants, perhaps he will ask you.
Communication about what matters to you strengthens a relationship.
Finally – You’ve Got This!
You’ve been buying gifts for others all your life. Buying your boyfriend, a gift for Valentine’s Day, birthday, or Christmas isn’t different from buying a gift for your father, brother, or best friend.
You do the best you can with the funds available.
Averages and statistics are an indication of what other people spend when surveyed. They don’t tell you what you should spend.
Trust your instincts and stay within your means when it comes to buying boyfriend gifts on the first occasion or a decade later.
A gift is an expression of affection, not the total value of your feelings for the guy in your life.