7 Strategies for Gifting on Budget
Spread holiday cheer without going brokeBy Brandpoint
The holiday season is upon us, and for most folks, that means shopping for gifts. Gift giving can get downright expensive, especially if you don’t make a plan and monitor your spending. A happy holiday doesn’t have to mean stressing about finances or going into debt. You can still spread holiday cheer and save money with smart gifting strategies. Here are seven tips:
1Create a gift list. Are you feeling pressure to get gifts for everyone? Thoughtfully consider who, exactly, is on your list this year. While a gift may be appropriate for some people, others might simply prefer to spend time together. Perhaps invite someone over for lunch or plan a cookie exchange with friends and relatives.
2Make your budget early. Deciding on limits for your holiday gifts will help guide your spending. You might have an overall holiday budget and then a specific budget to target for each person on your list. By starting early, you can take advantage of sales and other promotions.
3Stop worrying about perfect presents. Ultimately, it’s the thought that counts. Whether it’s a card or small, reasonably priced gift, the recipient will be glad you took the time to show you care.
4Use change to stretch your budget. You probably don’t think much about the coins lying about your home, but spare change can really add up. Your options include rolling the change up in wrappers and exchanging it at your bank (ask about its policy) or cashing it in at a supermarket Coinstar kiosk. You can find a location nearest you by putting in your zip code at coinstar.com/findakiosk.
5Create a group gift exchange. Also called “Secret Santa,” this strategy works especially well if you have a large family or a group of friends that you typically buy for. Everyone picks a name out of the hat and keeps the name secret until they give the gift. Set a price limit per gift to keep everyone in the same ballpark for the cost.
6Opt for services as gifts. Is there something you could do that the recipient would appreciate? Consider an act of kindness like cleaning a family member’s home or watching their children. If you have a particular talent, consider how that can be incorporated into your gift. Know how to play the piano? Offer to give children lessons. Do you have a snowblower? Offer to help clear a neighbor’s driveway after a snowstorm.
7Consider donations. Giving to charity on behalf of someone else can be a nice holiday gesture. Whether it’s animal welfare, disaster relief, a children’s charity or something else, think about what the person is passionate about and select an appropriate charity.
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