You can save money by creating a gift registry for virtually any occasion.

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Photo: Jayme Burrows (Shutterstock)

When you search for “gift list”, all results assume you are getting married or have a child. A recent tweet, however, has gone viral for pointing out that there are plenty of gift registry-worthy causes that have nothing to do with weddings or babies. (Here is the register who inspired the tweet, by the way). Knowing that gift registries can save you a lot of money, what’s stopping you from creating one for all the occasions you want to celebrate? What’s stopping you from creating one for no reason other than to make amazing deals?

There is no law against creating a gift registry for yourself. Gift registry sites like Zola will not require you to send proof that you are actually planning a wedding or expecting a baby. The only thing holding you back from creating a gift registry is the social taboo of asking for gifts for non-traditional gift-giving occasions. I’m not saying you should expect everyone in your life to shell out money for every little thing, but there are plenty of occasions that deserve just as much, if not more, celebration and financial support by relation to marriages. Getting a degree, starting a new business, welcoming someone home, having successful surgery, discovering a long-lost twin sister…the list goes on.

Here’s what to know about how gift registries work and, more importantly, how you can make them work for you.

How Gift Registries Work

If you’ve never used a gift registry before as a giver or recipient, they’re pretty simple. A gift registry is like a master wish list. It’s a one-stop-shop that makes it easy for all your friends and family to view and purchase specific items from said wishlist. When you use a service like Zolaor sign up directly with retailers like Crate and barrelall your guests will be able to see how much each item costs, where it can be purchased, and which items have already been purchased (so you don’t get ten toaster).

Gift registries come with deep discounts

This is where the life hack comes in: if you have unsold items left in your registry after your event, some stores will allow you to purchase them with an “end of registry discount”. Rules vary by retailer, but you can typically get 15% savings on your registry within 90 days of the event (or non-event, if you pull off a gift list scam). (Although it’s not really a scam.)

Know the conditions of the end of register discount

Each retailer will set some kind of restrictions on what can be discounted via a Gift Registry. the Target 15% Off Register Couponfor example, excludes alcohol, Apple products and Elf on the Shelf.

When you set up your registry, you will likely be asked to set a deadline. For example, Amazon and Kohl both give you 90 days after your event to claim your registry discount, while Target gives you six months.

Each site will have a few fine print to consider. Target requires your registry to be active for at least 14 days before you get the registry completion discount, Kohl’s requires you to have at least one purchased item in your registry to get the discount, and so on. Read your registry terms when you register to you don’t miss out on potential deals.

Run a gift registry for you

Even if you’re not comfortable publicly asking friends and family to purchase items from your registry, you can theoretically use it as a tool to get 15% off a master wishlist of items you were going to buy for yourself anyway.

Still, I encourage you to think about non-traditional causes for celebration and gift giving in your life. If a friend of mine got their doctorate after six years of hard work and student loans, I know I’d be happy to help buy a new backpack, a Airbnb gift card or, if I’m feeling really generous, an air fryer. Think about what your loved ones could reasonably buy for you, and push back against whatever society dictates as designated gift-giving times.

So go ahead and make yourself a gift list. Prepare for some confusion from others, but as As long as you’re reasonable, what could be worse? Either you’ll get a great discount on something you were already going to buy yourself, or your friends and family might surprise you with their generosity.



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