Is it OK to be both excited and terrified for the holiday season? Yes, it is, and you probably should be. Consumers are planning on spending $805 on holiday expenses this year. This is great and all, except for the fact that many of us don’t have the budget to drop almost a grand on gifts for the holidays. We are desperately looking for ways to save. Unfortunately, many people don’t look and have to suffer the financial consequences for the next half of the new year. Lucky for you, there are plenty of ways to save, and we’re going to go over some ways to have a good holiday season without imploding your budget.
Become the gifting king or queen without going broke
First, make a list of everyone you’re planning on getting a gift for this season. See if there is anyone you didn’t really talk to or are as close to this year. You might want to give those people a free gift instead of a paid one. You have to remember, you don’t have to buy everyone a gift, a simple phone call or a meetup for lunch can be good enough for the people you are not extremely close to. Also, look into the idea of cheaper gifts such as gift cards. For example, a $15 Starbucks gift card could last multiple trips for someone while you don’t know if the $50 gift you are getting someone will be worth the investment. And if you’re a creative mastermind, you can wow your friends and family with some homemade gifts!
Nothing is better than getting a present that comes from the heart. You actually can handcraft a gift like a bracelet or a tea wreath, which might be better than getting some product that anyone can get anywhere. It’s unique and can only be from you. My personal favorite homemade gift idea is to create a “coupon book” of different fun small favors and/or activities that your giftee can cash into you. It makes for a cool little book of funny drawings for the giftee.
No gifts at all!? This would’ve sounded crazy a couple of years ago but given the year we had it is completely acceptable. In these uncertain times, saving as much money as you can is important.
Don’t let the season of gift-giving make you financially irresponsible. There are many ways to make the holiday season work with whatever your budget is. All gifts big and small will always be appreciated. So, if you’re spending more than $800 or you’re doing no gifts at all, make sure you are taking care of yourself financially this holiday season.