I received the following comment on one of my early posts, "What is the appropriate amount of money to spend on a baby shower gift?" I've taken my sweet time answering this question because it's a tough one.
Googling this question brought me to an endless list of Q&A forums, most of which focused on co-worker baby showers. Apparently it's a common stress to determine how much to spend on a co-worker's baby shower. In case you're wondering, the maximum money suggested was $30. Most answers were less, especially when it concerned contributing to a joint gift.
More generally speaking here are three pieces of advice I found from the consensus of the online public:
- Minimum of $20 - I don't agree with minimums, so poo poo to the online public.
- Depends on your financial capabilities - Yes and YES. This is the most important consideration, it's unique for everyone and it changes over time. The amount should be comfortable for your budget.
- Depends on your relationship with the mother/parent-to-be - Definitely something to consider in that you will likely want to spend more money for your sister's baby shower than your distant-see-once-a-year cousin's baby shower.
If you're having trouble, look at all the gifts on the baby shower registry and think about what you would buy for someone who is incredibly special and close to you. This is probably an easier answer. Use that gift/cost as a maximum. Maybe you want to spend your maximum or maybe you want to work backwards depending on your relationship and current income.
Bottom line, there is no mathematical algorithm and any gift will be greatly appreciated. A mother-to-be that wouldn't appreciate a gift, whether it's cost-less or super expensive, isn't the kind of mother-to-be worth stressing over in the first place.