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HOLIDAY SHOPPING ON A BUDGET 9 Tips to limit what you spend on gifts this season

Nov 02, 2018 05:26AM

HOLIDAY SHOPPING ON A BUDGET

9 Tips to limit what you spend on gifts this season



The holidays should be a time for celebration and generosity, not for accumulating credit card debt and draining your savings. By sticking to a budget and following these 9 simple strategies, you can bestow meaningful gifts while staying within your financial means.


1) Create a budget

Donna Montaldo, contributor to TheBalance.com, advises that you make a spending budget before the holiday season hits. Make this an informed amount, based on what you can truly afford to pay.


2) Make a list

Maya Kachroo-Levine, contributor to Forbes.com, suggests making a list of everyone you want to buy presents for along with a certain amount you should spend on each person. This will help you stay within your allotted budget.


3) Start saving early

Kachroo-Levine advises starting a holiday spending fund as early as possible so that when the holidays approach, you will already have a surplus to tap into. Consider setting aside $30 a week starting two to three months before the holidays.
 
In Online Banking, you can set up a transfer and make your holiday saving automatic. View a demo of our Online Banking service.


4) Compare prices

Hobson suggests that you research prices before purchasing any gift. If you’re shopping in person, use your phone to check online to see if there’s a discounted price if you order an item online. You can also check prices of that item at similar stores.


5) Re-gifting

Another affordable option to stay within your budget this holiday is to re-gift an item that you received but don’t use or need, explains Montaldo. Make sure the gift is new and wrap it in an attractive package to give it a fresh look.


6) Go homemade

Browse ideas on Pinterest and other websites for simple gifts that you can make yourself. Montaldo suggests visiting the dollar store to purchase candy or nuts that you can package in mason jars and wrap with festive bows. Handmade items such as cookies or homemade bath salts are two additional ideas great for teachers and coworkers.


7) Rethink gifts for your partner

It can be easy to overspend on the people closest to you, particularly your spouse or significant other. Kachroo-Levine recommends setting money aside earlier in the year to purchase a high-cost experience or household item that you both have been wanting. Another great idea is to give your partner the gift of quality time this year, to avoid focusing on material possessions as gifts.


8) Amp up your gift’s appearance

Montaldo advises enhancing the visual appearance of your present by investing in quality gift wrap, ribbons, bows and accessories. You can also add a personal touch by making your own gift wrap, following do-it-yourself instructions on sites like Pinterest and Instructables.


9) Say “no” to holiday guilt

A thoughtful gift doesn’t necessarily mean an expensive one. Also, you don’t have to buy an item for every coworker and acquaintance you know, explains Kachroo-Levine.

Stay within your budget by applying these practical suggestions for giving affordable holiday gifts this season.

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