Gifts are a big part of the holiday season. The festive atmosphere just seems to bring out the giving spirit in all of us. However, the cost of buying all those presents can really add up. By the time everything is unwrapped, you can go from Santa to the Grinch faster than you can open your December credit card bill! Fortunately, there are some great ideas you can use to cut down on your expenses over the holidays. Here are some tips for saving money on Christmas gifts this holiday season:
1. Skip the gift cards.
Gift cards are a convenient option that will save you time, but they probably won’t save you money. When you purchase a $50 gift card, you aren’t getting the benefits of any clearance racks or weekly sales that are offered at that store. Plus, gift cards aren’t very personal and you never know if the recipient will find something he or she likes at that particular store. Instead, try putting a bit more effort into your Christmas gift search. Look through sales papers and store catalogs to scout out the best deals. You can also take a little extra time to check out any discount aisles at your local walmart. You never know when you’ll come across a fantastic find that’s been drastically marked down. You may actually be able to get the person on your list something much nicer for less money than you would have paid for a boring gift card. You’ll save money and your family and friends will feel special knowing that you actually sought out specific presents just for them!
2. Set a spending limit.
We all love giving and receiving gifts at Christmastime, but there’s no need to go overboard. Talk to your friends, family members or coworkers about putting a cap on the amount each person will pay for presents. Be sure to keep that amount in a reasonable range. Setting a smaller limit, such as $20 or so, will force everyone to come up with gift ideas that are less flashy and more meaningful. For example, if you have a brother that’s a film buff, pick up a DVD or Blu-Ray disc of a classic movie he might have missed. If you know that your aunt loves cooking, pick up an interesting sauce or seasoning for her to experiment with in her next recipe. You can even go with do-it-yourself options for your loved ones like knitting scarves or preparing some layered cookie mixes in jars. The actual gift itself doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you cared enough to give it. After all, it really is the thought that counts!
3. Declutter your house
One of the more popular ways to make money that you can save up is from the sales of old items that you find around your house. You may think that you have a lot of junk that wont sell, but if you really looked you could be sitting on hundreds of dollars.
For example, look for old DVD’s, CDs, Console Games, Clothes and Cell Phones.
Sites such as sellcell.com can help you trade in your old phones for cash, where you can make upto $500!
4. Draw names.
If you’re like most people, you probably have a closet filled with gifts that you’ve never used. The givers likely had good intentions, but for whatever reason they just weren’t quite right for you. On the other hand, you’ve probably also had the experience of getting that perfect present that you use almost every day. Rather than purchasing somewhat trivial gifts for everyone, agree to draw names with your loved ones this Christmas. Each person will only receive one present, but that present will likely be much more satisfying. Everyone will get something really nice and no one will have to deal with the time and hassle of picking up a bunch of knick-knacks to serve as filler under the Christmas tree. Besides, does anyone really need another scented candle, decorative throw or popcorn tin? Choosing to buy just one gift that’s tailored to that person’s specific taste will take the pressure off of anyone who might be struggling financially after a difficult year. If everyone is slightly cash-strapped this season, you might even consider ditching gift-giving altogether in favor of just a holiday potluck party.
The holidays are a time of giving. However, the stress of paying for all those presents can rob you of your Christmas cheer if you don’t plan ahead. Luckily, it’s easy to reduce your holiday spending with these easy tricks. No matter which tip you use, it’s important to keep things in perspective this time of year. The main idea is that you gather with loved ones and cherish each other’s company. Saving money on Christmas gifts will keep cash in your wallet and allow you to fully enjoy the holiday season!
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The author of this article, Craig Timmins, enjoys to write about new and upcoming technology, and also likes to offer advice on money saving ideas and tips.