Searching for gifts for those close to you is a challenge for many people. You may have bought a gift and then seen something else that you know they would really love and bought that too. Before you know it, you have spent more money than you can afford, and it can take a while to clear the debt. You need to work to practice gift giving on a budget. Most financial advisors suggest that you spend no more on a gift that you can pay off in one or two months.
Gift giving on a budget does not mean choosing cheap gifts that lack quality or suitability. What it does means is that you choose the best gift for your money without having to sacrifice your style. Some of the most treasured gifts are those that have meaning due to the thought behind it, rather than the price tag. Here are some tips to stay within budget.
Gifts with a theme work well. If your recipient is a collector of memorabilia from a particular band or artist or has a keen interest on a particular topic, a basket or box of gifts on the theme will always be appreciated. This can include a spa treatment basket for an at-home spa day or a box of favorite candy from childhood days.
Wedding anniversaries already have their own themes, thanks to a list of traditional and modern anniversary gifts. From paper (first anniversary) to diamonds (60th anniversary) you can find several ideas at anniversarygiftsbyyear.org. As well as gifts, there are particular flowers and gems that are also associated with anniversaries, broadening your choice of gifts for this special celebration.
Stores will regularly hold sales and post details online or have flyers in store. If a brand is a particular favorite for your spouse or partner, the one person for whom you buy the most gifts, register for email alerts and make the most of any offers.
When it comes to presents at Christmas, have a list of gifts that you have in mind for those you are buying for and link these with offers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday just after Thanksgiving.
Spend Less, Spend Right
You can spend less money by buying precisely the right thing. Low-cost gifts include a magazine subscription, craft supplies, hot spices, festive party breads, a good bottle of wine and fair-trade chocolate. If you are buying a gift for a younger family member, consider an heirloom piece such as a framed picture of a great-grandparent, or grandmother’s tea service.
Most of us are used to shopping online, but the internet is also great for price-comparison shopping, which can stretch a budget even further. This means you can miss the crowds, and some sites offer collection in-store or free delivery to save you time. You may also be able to find discount codes for the item you wish to buy or deals that include a free gift, such as a free memory card with a Go-pro.
Break the cycle of overspending on holidays such as Christmas by asking family members to agree to a spending limit for each person. Whilst you may be the first to mention it, it is more than likely that others will be relieved that you have.
A Secret Santa or Secret Hanukkah Harry works well, or you can agree on a family present rather than on individual presents for those outside your own family.
A Little Extra
You can make any gift a little extra special by making it personal. Giving of yourself, your time, or your talents, means more than you could have imagined. This can an additional sentiment, such as a love letter attached to your gift. It would be a printout of favorite recipes from their childhood.
Another suggestion is to offer your time, perhaps to mind children or pets or to help plant a garden. You can even start your own tradition, such as a cookie-baking day before a birthday, anniversary, or other significant dates.
At the beginning of the year, plan ahead with a budget for each gift-giving occasion, with general ideas about the best present for each recipient. This means that when you see deals throughout the year, you can decide if it has any value to you as a gift.
Divide this final figure by 12 months, and save monthly. This makes buying gifts much more fun as you know you have the funds and do not need to borrow.
Finally, irrespective of how many figures are in your salary, consider your reasons for giving presents. Just simplifying your gift-giving approach can be a reminder as to why you want to give a gift, which increases your chances of presenting a gift your recipient will love.