Budgeting for Holiday Gifting
It's that time of year again and it's time to gear up for the gift giving season. This year has been especially trying financially for many of us, and the expectation of doling out gifts to friends and family can be overwhelming when you're just trying to get by financially. Instead of worsening your credit card debt, we've got some advice on how to give within your means. It's good to remember that while everyone enjoys getting presents around the holidays, it really is the thought that counts! A thoughtful, homemade gift can feel much more personal and valuable than an overpriced, store bought present.
1. Set Your Budget. We know we say this all the time but it bears repeating: make a budget and stick to it! If you have to get gifts for a large family or group of friends, make a list and check it twice. Allocating funds before you hit the shops will guide you as you hunt for the perfect present. If you find something you know you're loved-one will adore but is out of your budget range, check online stores to see if you can't find something similar for less.
2. Start Early. Waiting until the last minute can mean you miss out on those earlybird sales or end up paying extra shipping to get the gift delivered in time. You'll feel less stressed and give yourself time to hunt for the best deals if you begin, well, now!
3. Craft Your Own Cards. If you can't afford a gift for your friends, never underestimate the power of a sentimental and homemade card. Set aside a day to make a couple batches of holiday cards and take time to write a personal note in each one. Adding a fun and festive painted design or smattering of holiday glitter can go a long way. Even if you're not a skilled artist, everyone can have a good laugh at your thoughtful attempt at creativity.
4. Bake Some Cookies. Giving the gift of baked goods is a wonderful way to show your love without breaking the bank. Make some simple and affordable sugar cookies then go crazy with some wacky and wonderful decorations. If you've got kids, get the whole family involved and make an afternoon of it! Then package them in some cute holiday tins or tiny baskets and you've got a gift ready to go! Your loved ones will enjoy looking at and devouring your creations.
5. DIY Projects For The Win. If you're feeling crafty, check out some of the holiday DIY projects on pinterest and create some little decorations or ornaments to give as gifts. They'll be much cheaper and personal if they're homemade and you can save time when you make a big batch and knock out half your gift list in one day.
6. Framed Photos. If all this crafty work is making your head spin, try giving a simple framed picture as a gift. Finding a great photo of you and your friend, printing and framing it can cost just a couple bucks and will be a gift they can hang on their wall and enjoy for the whole year.
These are just a few ways to enjoy seasonal giving without breaking the bank or stressing yourself out too much.