The season of giving is upon us! The problem many people face with this is that they don’t plan ahead or budget for this. There may be a little bit of buffer but it may not be much. It can be almost overwhelming at times. But the important thing to remember is that above all else this time of year is about spending time with friends and family. With this comes the idea that we need to get everyone gifts. Many times people forget or don’t pay attention to how much they are spending. The holidays should not be about putting one’s self in debt or breaking their bank accounts. Here we will discuss how to start saving money on gifts!
Save money on gifts
Make a list and check it twice
If you do not plan ahead, it is easy to spend a lot more money than you anticipate. I know I am one who loves to give gifts but the problem is that it can add up very quickly. I have gotten into the habit of writing a list of people that I am buying for and setting an actual limit ahead of time. I usually start a list even as early as October, so that I can shop early sales and save money on the gifts that I know I’m going to buy. I can work this into my budget to make sure that I am still staying on track (at least somewhat).
Set a budget for gifts
Now that you have a list of gifts that you need to get, time to decide how much to spend. The reason behind it is that you are less likely to go overboard and drown in a sea of debt. One quick way is to have the money set aside similar to the Envelope method so that I have a set maximum that I can spend. It is important to remember that you don’t have to spend equally if you don’t need/want to.
For example, you are less likely to buy gifts at the same value for coworkers as you do for your close family. But still a good idea to have a target number in mind. A simple break down is that if you are by gifts for 25 people and spending $20 per person, that is already $500! Go in with a plan ahead of time to make sure that you are not overspending.
Do you need to buy
Sometimes it is better to have a discussion with people on your list on whether or not to exchange gifts. You can still give cards but not any actual gifts. If you go to big Christmas parties, it may be decided that each person only buys for 1 other person and do an exchange. Or only buying for the kids of the party. It is as simple as having a conversation with the individual or group to see what the consensus is. Or set a limit for smaller trinket type gifts.
Went in doubt, opt for experiences
Some people are just difficult to buy for, so in those cases, it can be better to pay for an experience instead of a gift. Experiences tend to be a little cheaper than gifts and can be extremely simple. I recommend this for children as this helps to create memories that they will treasure. This can be anything from going to the movies or a State park pass. The most important thing is that you are spending time together and making memories.
Gifts from the hand, not from the wallet
You don’t have to give gifts to everyone, especially expensive ones. If you have a lot of people that you want to give to, make something such as cookies or treats. It is far cheaper to make something than to buy something and it often means a lot more as well. If you are a crafty person, then making something be a wonderful gift. Last year, we had made a rustic hanging picture holder for several people. It was cheaper but also meant more because we had made it. Saving money on gifts can be fairly easy and can mean more to the recipient.
Do you have any money-saving tips for gifts? Let us know in the comments!