The holidays are a wonderful time. We all have our traditions and Christmas miracles/moments that will always be cherished memories. However, Christmas can often bring about the cold reality of finances. Most of us enjoy buying gifts but it feels like the list gets longer and longer every year. Gifts for relatives, gifts for teachers, gag gifts for parties, and the list goes on. None of us want to be seen as someone who is down and out because sometimes that can be embarrassing. Some of us just aren’t made of money but we would still like to give a gift to those who matter in our life. Here are a few tips on giving a gift when money is an issue.

  1. Go Handmade – Many people think you will spend a ton of money in supplies if you try to do handmade gifts. Truly, it CAN get expensive if you choose the wrong gifts. Things such as candles, cookie mix jars, soaps, etc. all can be bought in bulk for a small price and the supplies can stretch out for many gifts. $10 for candle wax at Michael’s can make many candles and everyone loves candles.
  2. Give of Your Time – Many of us often get stuck on giving something tangible as a gift. I know many people, including myself, who enjoy experiences rather than tangible gifts. I have a friend who would rather be taken out for a fun day on a hiking trail rather than get gifts.
  3. Make Fun Coupons – For close family and friends, they often ask us for favors. As a fun way to skip spending so much money, give a coupon for tasks or favors. For example, give a coupon for one good day of cleaning or errand running. Or you can use Reebox Promo codes or codes from other places to get a % off!
  4. Go Easy on the Teacher Gifts – I promise you, teachers are showered with gifts and will not cry or care if you don’t give them one. I have a friend who was a teacher and she always hated the pressure put on the kids and their families to give her gifts. If you still want to give a gift to a teacher, a handmade card from the kid(s) is just as touching if not more touching than a gift.
  5. Watch for Sales – There are always huge coupons for online sales or you can get coupon discounts for signing up for free email subscriptions with stores and companies. I have waited to buy things many times until I had a coupon for it. You don’t have to brave Black Friday to get good sale items. For example, JC Penny always has a 15% off your entire purchase coupon for online or in-stores. Hobby Lobby and Michael’s also always have standing coupons for 40-50% off one regularly priced item. Simply search for your store online and often times they pop right up.
  6. Wait Until After Christmas – For the gifts than can wait until after Christmas, there are always huge sales that occur as soon as the day after Christmas. Many of them are large discounts making it a lot easier to grab up a gift. I know I’ve waited to buy décor for my next Christmas until the sales happened because I got it 75% cheaper than it would have been.
  7. Talk to the Family About a Game – I have a friend who does a gift giving game with each side of her family instead of everyone giving everybody a gift. One side of the family has everyone bring one gag or normal gift and then they play a game of picking and stealing from each other. It’s a lot of fun. The other side of the family puts everybody’s names in a hat and then each person draws a name and buys only for that person.
  8. Check People off the List – I used to be really bad about buying for anybody and everybody. Sadly, most of them wouldn’t even blink at the gift but I felt I needed to buy them one every year anyways. One year, I decided to nix those people off the list and the funny thing is, they didn’t even notice or care. Don’t be afraid to shorten your list.

8 Tips for Buying Gifts When Money is Tight

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