Finding the Perfect Gift for Your Spouse

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I recently did a segment on the Couple Money Podcast on gift shopping and I wanted to share some tips from it. 

Finding and giving the perfect gift for your loved ones one of the best feelings. However it can sometimes seem really difficult, especially if someone is ‘hard to shop for'.

If you're in this situation, here are four steps to make it more fun and less stressful.

  • Make a list of all the things the person is interested in
  • Drill Down and see if any gifts jump out
  • Choose based on their tastes
  • Have fun presenting it

To (hopefully) make things a little more clearer, I'll be using my husband's upcoming anniversary gift as an example.

Usually we take trips for our anniversary, but since travel is a bit limited with me being towards the end the preganancy I'm going with gifts this year.

Make a List of All the Things the Person is Interested In/ Enjoys

You need to remember is that the best gifts reflect the recipient's interests and personalities.

One of the best ways to crack the code and come up with an awesome surprise is brainstorming up a list of the person's interests and hobbies.

At this point, just write down whatever comes to your mind, no editing. We'll whittle down later.

From there you can then make your gift (which is a huge win in my book) or hunt around online for it.

There seems to be a store for almost every interest. If your loved ones like stuff from TV, browse through an ASOTV  Store, where you may find a quickly gift they've been mentioning.

Figuring Out What They'd Like

I'm going to start off with an easy one – tech. He's a software developer and he is definitely a gadget guy.

He's also into sci-fi dramas so I might pick up a series on DVD, kind of like a collectors item. While not a hardcore gamer, he does play to unwind  at night (I'm the early bird, so I'm usually asleep by then).

For those who have been following for us for a while, you know that we also homebrew and have made some tasty batches of beer.

I could look at some hard to find ones and get some for him. He's also gotten into scotch in the past couple of years and seems to love it.

As for something different from what we've done past anniversaries, I could check out and see if there are any concerts coming up that he'd like to go to.

Drill Down for Gift Ideas

The next step is going over the list and seeing if any gifts jump out at us. I want to give my husband something that he will love and enjoy.

As for tech, he already has a tablet and phone he loves and uses. He mentioned a smart watch, but told me that none of them look good enough so I think tech will be off the list.

With scotch, I'm not really a drinker but I checked the cabinet to see what he has and it looks like he's started a small collection started. I'm thinking this could be nice – finding a scotch he would love and could drink for special occasions.

As for the DVDs, I'm chucking that because we have a Netflix and Hulu Plus subscription which has plenty of series up there. Plus he doesn't watch a ton of TV. I don't think this would get him excited and I want him to be happy.

There hasn't been a recent game he's gushed about. He does however love retro games and has a steam account, so I might get him a gift card. ( I know some people think gift cards are tacky, but if it's for a store or a site that they love, I think it's a fantastic deal.)

I don't see any concerts that I know that he would love. We do like discovering new artists and bands, but unless I'm sure that he's get excited, I don't want t use this as the anniversary gift.

So looking back at the list I think I'm going with the scotch. I think it would be so much fun to get a great bottle of scotch that he can add to the collection.

Choose Based on Their Tastes

Like I said, I don't consider myself a scotch drinker so I will be relying on others to help me pick the right one.

First thing, I do is reach out to a friend who loves scotch and we've had some with. She's knowledgeable and hopefully she'll remember a few of the scotchs my husband really enjoyed tasting at their place.

While I wait for her reply, I go over to Scotch Addict to see if I can add some contenders to the list. As if Jim read my mind, he released a post about Scotchs for special occasions. (

I hear back from my friend and with her info and what I picked from the site, I have 3 possible contenders:

  • Laphroaig 18 Year
  • Macallan 12 year
  • Glenlivet 15 Year French Oak

(Since our anniversary is not here yet, I won't reveal what I picked out 😉 )

Presenting It

The last step is my favorite – giving it. With a good scotch, you can do something minimal and it would be fine, but for our anniversary I want to have some fun.

We'll have a reservation at one of our favorite restaurants in town and there will be a scotch tasting included. Once we arrive home, I will then give him his anniversary scotch along with some other items to go with it.

Thoughts on Gift Giving

So there you have it – a system for finding perfect gift for someone special. I hope it helps you. I'd love to hear about your ideas on finding the right gift for your loved ones.

Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

9 comments add your comment

  1. I found the perfect gift for my son, a bottle of wine. What makes it perfect is it is named after him, J Krant Cellars! All I need is an excuse to buy it for him.

  2. Happy early anniversary to you! Your husband sounds exactly like mine! Software developer, sci-fi nerd, scotch and beer lover…yep! Mine is difficult to buy for though because he’s an uber minimalist and doesn’t want anything. Easy on some fronts–we often decide not to give gifts, but I struggle when we are exchanging presents. He loves the bicycle hoodie sweatshirt I got him for Christmas last year, so I’m still feeling successful from that 🙂

  3. I think my husbands perfect gift would be something from Tesla motors (or any automobile for that matter). One day I’ll be able to do that for him – all in cash (although I sense the paid for aspect will be more pleasing for me – he’d lease in a minute if I would go for it). Until then, I’m taking your suggestions to give him something from the #2 spot on his list. Just need to figure out what that might be!

    • Haha, you weren’t kidding when you said he loves leases! I think my husband would love a Tesla as well, but we have some other goals we have to achieve first before that happens 🙂 .

  4. I usually just open my ears starting in September. Alarms go off everytime my wife says the words “I would really like…..” I pull out my cell phone and create a little note. When I go Christmas shopping, I just pull out my list. Easy peasy!