One of the major stressors at the holidays is the financial weight of buying gifts for everyone in your life. While we can’t help you with your financial crunch, we can offer some practical tips:
- Set a budget – This sounds basic, but many people don’t think about this pre-shopping and before they know it they’re wallowing in credit card debt.
- Create a list – Knowing what you’re looking for before you set foot out of your door will help keep you on track. If you give time and thought to your gift giving both you and the giftee will benefit!
- Plan your shopping – Shopping under pressure is one of the financial ambushes to avoid. If you plan ahead where you are going then you’re less likely to impulse buy.
- Do a reality check – I know you want your nephew Fred to have that new bike, but before you go hog wild, ask yourself “Do I really need to spend this much?” Remember Fred’s not in your head so he won’t know what he’s missing. It’s ok to say no! Don’t spend what you don’t have.
- Get creative – Plan low cost activities like volunteering and look for low cost gifts that speak volumes (see “Create a list” above). Getting back to basics helps all of us breath easier and appreciate the little things.
- Focus on what the season is all about – The greatest gift you can give your friends and family is the gift of your time. Start there and you’ll be better for it.