With the holiday season fast approaching, getting the perfect gifts for friends and family is on everyone’s mind. If your budget is a little tight this year, you aren’t alone, and we could all use some help making our dollar go a bit further. Here are a few tips to help you find great gifts this Christmas without losing your financial footing.
Have a Plan and Stick to it.
Before you even touch your first shopping cart, sit down and make a list of who you want to buy for and how much you want to spend. Write down gift ideas and check local ads for when things are on sale. Take out cash when you are ready to hit the stores and leave your credit cards at home to prevent over spending.
Suggest a Gift Exchange.
Instead of buying lots of little gifts, try to get your friends or family to go in on drawing names to cut down on the number of gifts everyone has to buy.
East, West, Homemade is Best.
Everyone can appreciate the time and effort that goes into something homemade. If your family likes baked goods like cookies, candies and cakes, spend a day or two baking in bulk and package up your treats on festive platters from dollar stores or thrift shops. If cooking isn’t your talent, stop in to your local fabric or craft store for advice and tutorials on making knitted scarves or fleecy blankets.
Get out the Glitter!
Remember the class hours you spent laboring over glue sticks and construction paper to make that perfect holiday card for your parents in elementary school? Most parents still have those cherished pieces of glitter-drenched art tucked away in a keepsake box. Take a page from that old book and make your own Christmas cards. Scrapbooking and craft stores have a wide range of holiday themed supplies and your loved ones will be guaranteed a unique card they can treasure the whole season.
Why Pay Full Price?
Some restaurants advertise deals on larger amounts of gift cards. If you have a number of people who would like the same place, consider buying in bulk. Also, online resources sometimes sell cards discounted from their face value. Check out giftcardrescue.com and giftcards.com to find your favorite places to shop. While you’re online, also check out local stores on Twitter or Facebook because sometimes they offer followers exclusive coupons and discounts.
We’re all busy and sometimes we don’t get to see our friends and family as much as we’d like. Help bridge the gap for your loved ones by giving them inexpensively framed snapshots of you or your family. Go through the summer’s pictures, pick out the best candid moments and have them printed for the grandparents and that extra proud auntie.
Christmas isn’t about how much money you spend; it’s about the love you give. Put more time and thought into the thought than the price tag and no one will be disappointed.
Author Samantha Hathaway is a financial consultant and suggests there are times when payday loans may come in handy when you have financial needs prior to a pay date.