As generous and gracious as we want to be when giving gifts, they can really break our budget, especially around holidays like Christmas. You don’t want to be known as a “grinch”, however, you also don’t want to have to be eating beans and rice for months because of your overdrawn credit card bills. So how do you solve the gift issue so that everyone is happy?
Here are some ideas that I have used in the past to give value laden gifts without going into debt:
- Buy On Sale
Many gift giving occasions like birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries are easily predictable. Let’s face it- they come around once a year. However, that doesn’t mean that we have to wait until the last minute to purchase our required gifts! We are often put into a desperate situation when we delay in getting gifts for our loved ones, meaning that we will pay any price to get something suitable. If we become a bit more strategic, we have a chance to save ourselves the inconvenience and frustration that comes with last minute buying, not to mention giving ourselves the possibility of shopping around and waiting for deal. Next time you see something that is on a great discount, ask yourself if it would be a worthy gift for any of your friends or family. If so, get it and wait for the occasion to come around! You’re not the only person who buys future birthday or Christmas gifts on Black Friday.
- Hand made
If you are strapped for cash, a homemade alternative that took you more time than money can also be a wonderful gift. Whether it’s handmade soap, crocheted baby clothes, or furniture you made yourself, most people will appreciate the effort and time that went into creating something especially for them. However, this is not an option that you should use with someone who you are not well acquainted with. They might not understand or appreciate your gift as much as you think. In that situation, a store-bought gift might be a better option until you have reached a stage in your relationship when hand made gifts are appropriate.
Thoughtfulness goes a long way- much further than most think. Sometimes a gift doesn’t need to be big or expensive if it proves how well you understand the person you are giving it to. Pay attention during conversations and make notes on what people say that they wish they had, even if they are little things. Later when they open your gift and they recall the time they mentioned something in an off-handed manner, don’t be surprised to see a huge smile and perhaps even slightly damp eyes. A gift from the heart is truly invaluable, and most would agree.
People love personalized items, even when they are little trinkets like patches, jewelry, luggage tags, or even water bottles. There are many opportunities to customize your gift so that it means even more to them than the item would have if it had a generic design. Today it’s relatively easy to find retailers who can personalize your gift, there’s even an online store where you can purchase and customize your skateboard. If you are unsure of how your recipient might want to customize their item, a gift card or credit for the item gives them the flexibility of choosing the design themselves.
No one said that there’s a way out of giving gifts on occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays. But remember, the reason for gifts is to show affection, not to flaunt how much you spent on it. Keep the presents thoughtful and then it’s up to the recipient to appreciate the thought and effort you put into making them happy.