Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Get ready for Mother’s Day

Mother's Day savings

By Tiernan Cannon

These holidays never end! The entire year is littered with special occasions that force you to fork out for an expensive card and gift. From Christmas to Valentine’s Day to Easter to your loved ones’ birthdays, it really is endless.

However, there is one holiday that you can’t resent: Mother’s Day. Your mother has been dealing with you from before you were even born, and so perhaps a little gift outside of the standard birthday and Christmas occasions is quite reasonable?

Although many of us can afford to splash out on pricey gifts, there are some cost-effective solutions that don’t require you to sacrifice any thought this coming Sunday.

Flower power

Nothing puts you in mammy’s good books like a lovely bouquet of flowers. However, you may wince at the price of such a thing, so preparation and careful thinking is key. Use your common sense – for example, order flowers that are in season, such as carnations. Obviously flowers that are in short supply at this time of year are going to be more expensive, so know your seasons!

Next, you might feel that the largest bouquet containing the most flowers is the most impressive, but it isn’t necessarily so. Sometimes, less is very much more – it just depends on how you present it. Organise the bouquet properly and minimally, and you’ll save a bit and have a gift that looks better anyway.

Now, this next piece of advice is for the last-minute folk out there. This is not advisable in the long run – it is merely the last resort. If it’s the night before Mother’s Day and you realise you haven’t gotten anything, then the supermarkets will probably be able to pull you back from the abyss. Most of the major supermarkets do flowers for very cheap, but of course they do not last as long and don’t quite provide the personal touch that those assembled as a bouquet from a florist do.

But if push comes to shove, you do have that option. But DO NOT forget to remove the label and price tag!

Pick up the sweeping brush

Consider all the things your mother would have done for you growing up. The amount of time and energy she exerted just to get you through childhood and into the world. It must have been exhausting.

Instead of buying a gift, have a think about some of the things your mother did for you growing up, and repay the favour. If your mother was the one that cooked for you, make her a nice dinner. If she was the one that drove you around the place for your various activities, volunteer yourself as her personal chauffeur for the day. Find out what tasks she would like a break from and then do them yourself. It’ll cost you nothing and might well go down better than any gift you could buy.

Sentiment over commodity

Of course it’s lovely to receive expensive gifts, but sometimes a gift of sentimental worth is much more effective, and might cost you little to nothing. If, for example, you have in your possession photographs from your childhood that your mother might never have seen before, create a scrapbook containing photos and mementos of a time gone by.

Just buy a cheap scrapbook, scan in your photos (some printers have this function, and you can use applications like Microsoft Paint to complete the process), print, glue, wrap up, and you’re done! A thoughtful, cheap, handmade gift that is sure to make you seem like the greatest son or daughter in the world.

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.