What you buy and how much you spend on gifts varies by region

If you’ve got it, flaunt it. And if you’re in the Northeast, you’re probably flaunting a lot of expensive wedding gifts.

Residents in this region are twice as likely as other Americans to spend at least $200 on a wedding gift, Bankrate says. And they’re probably giving cash or a check when they gift.

“Wedding traditions differ greatly from region to region, and so do gift-giving tendencies,” says Sarah Berger, The Cashlorette at Bankrate.com. “Invitations usually go out months before the big day, so start budgeting early.”

Northeasterners may just be more invested in weddings than other Americans are. One-third of them give a gift averaging $200 in value. Everywhere else across the country, only 13 percent of Americans are giving wedding gifts of that size.

But maybe it’s due to their higher wages, as those living in the Northeast typically hand out pricier gifts to everyone. Almost half of Northeasterners spend at least $100 on gifts for colleagues, acquaintances, and distant relatives, compared to 24 percent of the rest of the country.

Not just location: your age tells us what kind of gift you’re giving

Are millennials really as aloof and careless as their reputation tells us they are? Only 20 percent of millennials are likely to give cash or a check at a wedding, while nearly half of the Silent Generation and one-third of baby boomers prefer giving them. This is the most popular gift choice, as almost one-third of overall respondents to the Bankrate survey say this is what they choose.

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But it’s Gen Xers that might be the most thoughtful, as 34 percent of them prefer to give a physical gift off the registry. Nearly a quarter of millennials are likely to do this, too.

That’s just the gift choices for those that are attending a wedding. The survey found 21 percent have turned down a wedding invite because they couldn’t afford to go.

Heading to a wedding? Start saving early

If you turn down a wedding invitation but plan on sending a gift regardless, that’s one thing. But if you’re a close relative or friend, you’re probably looking at the newly added expense as daunting — if you’re struggling to save money as it is, how are you going to stash away cash for an upcoming wedding?

First off, start saving as you would for any new expense. If you were saving for a car, home, or retirement, you should go over your budget to see where your money goes. Add the wedding line item to your budget and consider it a bill like you would the electricity or internet — you should pay for it every month.

If you’re still having trouble saving money, see where you can make small sacrifices. Can you cut out those lunches where you grab something fast? Try to plan your meals ahead and pack something to bring. Do you stop to get your morning coffee at a shop rather than the kitchen? Start your brew at home. Do you have a bad shopping habit where you pick up a new outfit every few weeks? Try reinventing your current wardrobe instead of adding to it. Little changes can make a big difference. If you really need to be at a wedding this year, look to making small but effective modifications to your lifestyle.

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Article last modified on May 10, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Wedding Gift Value Differs Depending on Where You Live - AMP.