Thursday, December 6, 2018

Gifting on a Budget

As the holiday season approaches, some may find themselves strapped for cash since
they’re living on a limited income or dealing with medical bills and medical expenses.
While social norms stress the importance of gifts, you can remain budget-conscious while
giving quality presents. Don’t let the holiday season stress you out - we’re here to help.
Here are some of our favorite ways to gift on a budget.

1. Make a List

Don’t approach the holiday season blindly. Think ahead. Make a list of all the friends and
family that you plan to shop for this holiday season. Write down their interests so you’re
not searching for a gift idea blindly. Having a general idea of what they like or what’s
important to them can make gifting easier.

2. Capitalize on Sales and Discounts
There are hundreds of sales happening all season long, starting early or starting late.
Most of the time, you can find gifts at a discounted price, especially with last-minute sales a few days before Christmas. Don’t feel the need to settle, and our next point will tell you why.

3. Research and Price Compare
Various places can sell the same thing, so use your resources. Do your research on
sales and price discounts. Look into store policies - some places will price match their competitors so you can get an even better deal on items you’re searching for.

4. Make a Gift

Sometimes the best gifts are handmade. If you’re an older family member living off a
limited income, share photos and stories with your family. Gift something that will keep on
giving: your knowledge and experience. Imagine this - your granddaughter loves to sew,
and lucky for her, you grew up sewing. Write her a personalized and sentimental book
and fill it with old photos of garments you’ve sewn. Talk about tips and tricks you’ve
learned to perfect a stitch or attach sleeves. This idea can be applied to various subjects
such as cooking and gardening. The possibilities here are endless. If telling a story is too
time consuming, share or create a photo album as a gift to your family of the important
moments in your life. Pass down your memories, share your wisdom, and enrich
your connection to your family.

5. Sometimes Less Is More
You shouldn’t feel the burden of trying to give gifts during the holiday. Think small but
think quality. Have grandkids or your own kids you need to get presents for? Don’t
worry! Put together a small goodie basket of their favorite things. For example, if you know your grandkids love to roast s’mores, put together a gift basket of graham
crackers, marshmallows and mini chocolate bars - this will cost you around $5. Maybe
they like to draw too? Add in a small sketch pad and some crayons, which you can always find at craft stores for a decent price, and they usually offer coupons with a
nice percentage off. For your grown children, offer a handmade coupon to watch their
kids and put together a basket of movie snacks, a bag of popcorn and a giftcard to
the movies for $10 or so. Complete the present with a thoughtful letter saying you want to help watch the kids so they can spend quality time together and have a date night - they’ll love the thoughtfulness of your gift. They get a date night, and you get quality time with your grandkids; it’s a win-win.

6. Stick to a budget
Don’t break the bank. Stick to what you can afford. Your friends and family won’t love you
any less because you can’t afford the $200 shoes they want. It’s truly the thought that
counts. Remember that when the holidays are over, you need to be able to sustain a living,
so stick to what you can afford and don’t be afraid to give small but meaningful presents
this holiday season.

The holiday season is about more than just gift giving, and it’s not a competition to see
who can spend the most money to prove how much they love their friends and family.
Trust what you know about the people nearest and dearest to your heart, give them
thoughtful, quality, handmade gifts at a price you can afford that doesn’t break the
bank and blow your budget.

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