i know, it's not a terrible problem to have!
December 19, 2012 11:17 AM   Subscribe

help me buy myself a birthday present! a generous family member gives me cash for my birthday every year, but i'm not allowed to spend it on occasional manicures and lattes, i have to buy myself a gift with it.

this year, i'm stumped! i can't spend it on clothing because i'm pregnant and i don't want to buy maternity clothes with it. in the past, i've bought myself a ring (similar) and some fancy lululemon yoga clothes.

so, spend my $200!

i'm a 20-something lady living in NYC. i like to cook/bake (but already have a pretty well-stocked kitchen). i am moving in a couple of months, so don't want to buy something for the apartment.

oh, i've been eyeing this bag, but it's way out of my budget.

one option in the running in a prenatal massage, but i just got one, so i feel like i can do better than that!

so help me out! how would you spend $200?
posted by sabh to Shopping (16 answers total)
a generous family member gives me cash for my birthday every year, but i'm not allowed to spend it on occasional manicures and lattes, i have to buy myself a gift with it.

I don't understand - is there some kind of legal thing that is preventing you from counting a manicure or some other similar service as "a gift"?

If not, just do what you want with the money and be done with it. If a couple manicures is what you really want, then get that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:20 AM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'd go to a couple of lovely dinners and really enjoy my mate. Once that baby arrives, you won't have time for quiet, romantic dinners.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:22 AM on December 19, 2012 [3 favorites]

I just discovered Shannon South bags (they're made in the USA, yay!) and love this tote if you want to throw some extra money at the gift, or this clutch is gorgeous for $190.
posted by jabes at 11:26 AM on December 19, 2012

Do you have a KitchenAid stand mixer?

Or you could get like a ten-pack of yoga classes, rock-climbing time/lessons, language classes, a membership to a museum, cooking lessons, membership in Zipcar or similar service, an inexpensive city bike. Some of those might not be a great fit for first year with baby, though.

Some kind of baby gear? Fancy stroller? Crib? Rocking chair?
posted by Snarl Furillo at 11:39 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Since you like bags, a good diaper bag (or bag that can double as a diaper bag)? Maybe you've got that sorted already, but if you like stylish bags, spending the money on a bag that's functional and nice looking could be a good investment.
posted by EvaDestruction at 11:39 AM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Write a nice thank you card saying you got a wonderful prenatal massage with it, and then go buy whatever the hell you want, including manicures and lattes!
posted by sawdustbear at 11:40 AM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

Do you have a camera? You'll want to have one around the house soon, and if you don't already have one then $200 can buy you a model that's both very simple to use and also huuuuuuge leaps above what a smartphone can capture. As a photographer I probably wouldn't buy a $200 camera ("how would you spend $200?"), but for somebody who isn't a photographer and doesn't need to be able to tweak every little setting $200 is just about the exact amount I'd suggest spendng for a really great-quality fully automatic camera.
posted by cribcage at 11:45 AM on December 19, 2012 [8 favorites]

Seconding cribcage with the additional suggestion of having a camera with plenty of room for videos. The camera we used when I had my first baby (this was a few years ago) only took them up to about 10 seconds and now I'm so sad when I go through the videos of baby's first years, that they're not longer.
posted by fingersandtoes at 11:48 AM on December 19, 2012

Set the money aside. Eventually, you will stumble across something that you really love but wouldn't normally buy for yourself. If you do this, send a thank-you note now mentioning your plan, and then a second note when you've found that perfect thing you never knew you needed.

The camera's a good idea, too.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:49 AM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

What would I do? In light of all the sad things that have happened on the East Coast lately....

I'd spend $100 on some ridiculously fancy thing I would normally not buy for myself (for me, that might be a cool Etsy jewelry piece) and the other $100 on a charitable cause that I know would directly impact and help someone who isn't as lucky as me to have a generous family member (in my case, since I volunteer to help feed the homeless, I'd splurge on a rare treat for them instead of the usual pasta).
posted by HeyAllie at 12:20 PM on December 19, 2012

The camera is a great idea for something that lasts.

For something indulgent, go for the dinner. Upstairs at 21 Club is really, really schwanky, and $200 should about cover the prix fixe for two. Great food, incredible service, and superbly decadent. A meal you'll remember for the rest of your life, every time you pass the place or hear it mentioned in a movie.

You won't have another chance for a long, long time, right?
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:48 PM on December 19, 2012

Prenatal yoga. Alternatively, I'd go spend it at Upper Breast Side, either on maternity or nursing lingerie.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:38 PM on December 19, 2012

Personally, I'd buy a Nexus 7 (assuming you don't already have one). Best tablet $200 can buy.
posted by Vorteks at 1:43 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd get a housekeeper to come clean my house twice - once while you're delivering the baby (if you're planning on giving birth somewhere other than your home), and once in a few weeks when everything is disgusting and you're exhausted and feel like crap.
posted by barnone at 2:36 PM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

I have a relative who does this too. In the past I have:
-Bought a camera
-Gone on a quick weekend trip
-Upgraded to first class on a long flight when I normally wouldn't have
-Splurged on a handful of really nice bottles of wine
-Bought new boots
-Taken pilates classes
-Bought season tickets to the orchestra for my mom and I
posted by JannaK at 5:29 PM on December 19, 2012

Response by poster: thanks for all of the suggestions, now i have so many choices i didn't think of before!

(and obviously i could buy myself a bunch of lattes or get my nails done every week, but that's not as much fun)
posted by sabh at 5:50 PM on December 19, 2012

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