The Guide To Gift-Giving On A Budget
When birthdays and holidays come round every year, it can be quite stressful for anybody who has a limited budget available at the best of times. You want to give your loved ones a thoughtful and high-quality gift to show how much you care but you’re also painfully aware that you have so many other people for whom you have to buy presents throughout the year. When Christmas comes up, in particular, it becomes even more difficult to tell yourself that you’ll have saved up enough money to buy your other friends gifts soon; you have to buy gifts for everyone in one go!
Still, there are ways to get thoughtful gifts for people on a budget. It just requires a little foresight and additional planning. There are also clever ways to give cheap presents that don’t feel “cheap”; money isn’t everything, and thoughtful gifts can be achieved, instead, through a little hard work on your part. If you’re still not sure how on earth you’re going to afford to buy everybody gifts (especially during the coming holiday season) then this guide should help you do so on a budget.
Make a spending plan.
This will be easier at the end of the article once you’ve got some inspiration as to the types of things you could be buying for your friends or family. But once you’ve got some ideas as to the types of things you want to buy, you should start to make a spending plan; especially if the holidays are coming up and you need to buy gifts for everybody important in a small space of time. You could start by checking out our fall gift guide for some inspiration. It’s important to keep your gift-giving relevant by seasons as well as by the person for whom you’re buying the present. Whether it’s a birthday or a certain holiday, make the gift relevant.
Money is probably the most pressing issue on your mind if you’ve found your way onto this article, however. As mentioned over here, you need to create a budget and stick it when shopping to avoid bankrupting yourself when you walk into a store with many enticing gift options. Whether it’s the holidays or you know that another of your friends has a birthday in a few weeks (and you’ve only got so much disposable income this month), it’s crucial that you exhibit self-discipline so that you’re not too broke to buy presents for anyone else after getting one gift. Think ahead and make sure you have enough money to cover every gift for everyone.
Craft a homemade gift.
A great idea would be to go for the arts and crafts route. In some ways, a homemade gift is more meaningful than a commercialized one. What you’re telling your friend or family member is that you’ve dedicated time rather than money towards their gift and that’s, in some ways, more valuable. It’s easy to walk into a store and hand over a lot of money but it takes dedication and love to set your mind on making something like a beautiful cake or a sentimental photo album. Put your mind to it and you can probably come up with a sentimental homemade gift that’ll be something your friend or family member will never forget.
Another good idea for those families who always struggle with gift-giving occasions (and this applies to the kids of the family) is to pool your money together to buy gifts for the parents and any other relatives. You could organize things with your siblings for the holidays so that you each spend a tiny amount of money on a really good for members of your family. They’ll know that you and your siblings put thought and time into getting a great gift but you’ll only be paying a fraction of the price. It’s a win-win situation.
Treat them to an experience.
You could scrap the physical gift idea and go for something much more meaningful (in the same way as making a homemade gift). Treat your relative or friend to an experience such as a fun day at their favorite place in the world or a surprise party in the evening. If you’re smart about the way you organize such a trip and get all your friends or other family members to get in on the action then it’ll barely cost you any money at all and it’ll be a present which your loved one always remembers. Memories are the best gifts you can give to someone, whether you’re on a budget or not.
Save up throughout the year.
A final piece of advice for anybody who struggles to afford birthday or holiday gifts is to plan ahead. If you didn’t like the budget-saving ideas mentioned throughout this article and there are some more expensive or luxurious items to which you wish you could treat your loved ones then you need to start practicing the self-discipline necessary to save up money all year long. From the beginning of January, right after the spending madness of the holidays, work to set aside a little bit of money every week to slowly build up a gift-buying fund. It’s not nice to have to scrounge and cut corners just to get your loved ones gifts at important occasions throughout the year. Yes, commercial presents aren’t always the answer to a perfect gift; as mentioned earlier, you can craft something yourself. However, it really is the thought that counts, and if you buy your loved one something cheap because you don’t have much in the way of savings or disposable income then they might feel a little like a second thought.
To summarize, you need to put the effort into saving up money throughout the year so that, when birthdays keep popping up and when Christmas arrives at the end of the year, you’re more than prepared to buy people anything they want without feeling overly constricted by a low-budget. The guide to gift-giving on a budget can be pretty much ignored if you have the necessary foresight to save up money well in advance of any occasion. That’s some food for thought if you weren’t very keen on the rest of the cost-cutting ideas in this list.