Holiday Gift Giving on a Budget

The shining décor, the smell of fresh-baked cookies drifting from the kitchen and families coming together in celebration — nothing beats the holiday season. And with spirits so high, it’s hard not to get in the gift-giving mood! But that doesn’t mean you should forget about your budget.

Here are some tips to help you fill the space beneath your tree without breaking the bank:

Shop savvy. One thing to keep in mind — coupons never go out of style. And, if you plan ahead, there’s never a reason to pay full price for anything. Make it a habit to check out the Sunday paper for deals at local retailers, or surf the web to compare prices and stumble upon savings. It’s worth the bit of extra work.

Get crafty. Homemade gifts are all the rage right now! And in the end, it’s the thought that counts. So consider crafting your own presents this year — homemade jams, knitted scarves, hand-decorated coasters, etc. Just remember to factor in your DIY experience and don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Give memories. Have you had meaningful moments with your gift recipient in the past year? Take advantage of that! Frame a picture of the two of you on vacation, put together a memory box of your shared favorite things, etc. There’s nothing like a touch of nostalgia to get your friends and family smiling.

Draw names. When it comes to family celebrations or gift-giving amongst friends, suggest drawing names so each person only has to buy for one other. There may be less presents to go around, but this gives you the opportunity to get creative and up the quality without breaking your budget. Tighten up your list. Though it might be tempting to buy for every single person you know, you’ll need to draw the line somewhere. Think hard about your list and limit it to the people closest to you. That way you can focus on those who matter most and keep your budget in check.

Plan ahead. One great strategy to keeping your holiday season costs down — spreading them throughout the year! Plan ahead and buy gifts as you see them or as great sales come up. Then tuck them away until December comes back around.

Avoid credit cards. Swiping your plastic and forgetting about it is even easier than it sounds. And although it’s never a good idea to spend money you don’t have, it’s especially important to follow that rule around the holidays. Gift-giving costs add up fast and relying on your credit cards could put you in a sticky situation come January.

No matter what your budget, you’ve got what it takes to make this holiday season a memorable one. Keep our gift-giving tips in your back pocket and get savvier than ever before. You’ve got this.



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Related Topics: Money Matters