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How to save big in a year with DIY cards

Giving a card for special occassions is a must! Too bad cards are so costly these days. Because of that things can add up quickly. Think about it, in any given year there are 330 different holidays that could potentially be celebrated. In early January you can celebrate Idaho Human Rights Day, or Chinese New Year. February 14th can't be missed if you have a significant other. Then there are birthdays and Easter and Patriot's Day and Cinco de Mayo and on and on and on. Okay, you get the point, there are a ton of days during a year you can buy a card. At a cost of $5-$7 per card (for a nice card) that can really add up.

I noticed the cost of cards adding up when my family started to grow and we still got together for every birthday and holiday. At a certain point we were getting together nearly every weekend to celebrate someone or something. While it was fun to see my family often it became tough to justify the cost of a card for every event.

How do you save big in a year with DIY cards?

Simply put, you buy them and use them. "But Saving Dude, how much can I really save?" Ah ha, that is the true question.

Let's say the average person buys 10-20 cards in a year. The calculations below are for a single person with a significant other and both parents and all grandparents living. Probably not typical, but definitely on the low end of the card buying spectrum. Just think if you were like me and had 3 brothers and a sister all with at least 2 kids of their own. Lotta cards!

Valentine's Day + significant other's birthday

Mother's Day + dad's birthday

Father's Day + dad's birthday

Christmas x 6 (one for each parent and grandparent)

In total that is 12 cards x $5 each = $60/year on cards

Each of the options below are 100 blank cards for around $30. That is an 8 year supply of cards for half the cost of a single year. So, $30 for 8 years vs. $60 x 8 = $480 over the same time frame for a store bought card. A savings of $450 over 8 years or $56.25/year. Saving $56.25 per year and investing it in your 401(k) or Roth IRA will give you approximately $17,000 in retirement. Solid return on your savings.

Another Benefit

People love personalized cards. It means more if you have written a note yourself than just rely on the writers at Hallmark. Hallmark actually has a page on their site that gives you ideas of what to write. So most of the heavy lifting from a card writing perspective is already done for you.

If you want a fancy design on the front and/or inside of the card, Microsoft Word has a ton of templates. Also, a quick Google search for DIY cards can give you a ton of ideas.

In summary, handwriting cards can be more meaningful and save you a ton of money over the long run.

Your turn! Has anyone taken it upon themselves to make all the cards they use to buy?

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