Yes, I know it is a little late in the season to be discussing this, but there are still many out there who have yet to do their Christmas shopping.
Christmas is a big stumbling block for many because it is so easy to spend a large sum of money very quickly. I’m going to provide you with 5 money-saving tips that will help you make it through this Christmas season with a little more money left over.
Remember this important point: being cheaper during Christmas doesn’t mean that you have to be less thoughtful, and in many cases it requires you to be more thoughtful. Don’t feel bad for trying to save money during Christmas time!
1. Bake Your Gift
This can be implemented in numerous ways. If you’re super tight on money, then you can bake for everyone. Yes, this gift isn’t as easy as hitting up Wal-Mart, but it can save you a bundle of money, and is definitely a labor of love.
Sprinkle your baked items with red & green sugar, put them on a festive plastic tray, cover it in red or green plastic wrap, and slap a bow on it. After doing that you’ll have yourself a great looking, thoughtful, and loving gift!
2. Don’t Buy Gift Cards
Gift cards are a popular go-to gift because of their simplicity, and the ability for the receiver to get whatever they want. The problem with gift cards is that they tell the person exactly how much you think they’re worth (even if you don’t intend that to be the meaning). You’re better off avoiding most denominated presents because of this issue.
Sure, many people won’t take it that way, but why tempt the possibility? Christmas isn’t about the value of the gift, but it is always nicer for a gift to at least seem more valuable than the price paid
3. Don’t Buy Electronics
Electronics are in a similar boat as gift cards because the values are so easily determined. Additionally, mass-produced items sold in huge quantities to the masses just doesn’t have the same warm & cozy feeling that a thoughtful gift might have. It’s true that your child’s eyes might light up when they see the new Xbox, but it will be in the trash in a few years. The measure of a good gift should be how much sentimental value a person can assign to it.
I know there is a difference between “should” and reality, but I think that we’re making our way back to the foundations of family because of the economic crises.
4. Write Letters or Make Cards
This is more of a value adder rather than out-and-out gift. A really nice, thoughtful letter can definitely be a gift, but generally only a more mature person could receive a thoughtful letter as a gift and have it be sufficient, or more than sufficient. Kids aren’t typically excited to receive a letter or card saying how much you dearly love them, and appreciate them, but they will in time.
Until then, writing a thoughtful letter, or hand-making a card can definitely be a great touch and allow you to provide a more humble gift as well. Despite popular belief, people still do find value in hand-written letters, and hand-made cards!
5. Avoid Big Box Stores
This is a culmination of some of the above tips. Going to a big box store ensures a few things:
- The gifts you buy will most likely not be unique.
- You will be tempted into gift cards and electronics for the “quick and easy” gift idea.
- You’ll be surrounded by worthless, seasonal, x-brand garbage that is being wheeled out by the truckload to try to trap unsuspecting shoppers (don’t think that you are immune to last-minute desperation!).
- You will rarely save money without making a noticeable impact on the quality of gift you’re giving. People can tell when you’ve cheaped-out at Wal-Mart. I don’t care how nice the mug set in the themed box looked, people know you grabbed it from the center of the 5 dollar aisle! Going to smaller, more specialized stores will help you to locate those neat and unique gifts that make people say “Wow, where did you find this? I can’t believe you remembered.“
Christmas Shopping Is Inconvenient
No one ever wants to make a mad dash out into the Christmas crowds, but if you can employ any of these tips, then there is no reason why you can’t buy, or put together great Christmas gifts in an affordable manner. People can tell when you’ve put thought into things. Think back to the things that your loved ones have pointed out, jot them down, and find the best gift you can for the money. Christmas doesn’t have to mean debt & bankruptcy, it should be about love, family, and the celebration of Jesus’ birth.