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Finances: Gift Buying on a Budget

Written by: Erin Montgomery

Gift giving is one of the many traditions over the holiday season. But, doesn't it seem like our shopping list grows by a few more every year... yet our budget stays the same? Shopping for an ever-growing list can be stressful, but there are a few things you can do to help stay on track.

Assign a dollar amount

One of the easiest ways to help stay on budget is to assign a dollar amount per gift. By doing this, you are keeping yourself accountable for your spending. If your limit is $50 a person, stick with it. Opt for gifts that you know they need. Avoid fads. And, after you've bought for each person, check them off of your list to you don't accidentally 'double buy'!

Secret Santa

Instead of buying for a family of ten, suggest doing a Secret Santa. Place everyone’s name in a hat and draw. That way everyone will receive a gift and you are not breaking budget. Secret Santas are the perfect solution for large families, office parties and even your group of friends. Each Secret Santa should have a spend limit and the best part -- the recipient has to guess who it's from!

Sentimental Gifts

The holidays are about spending time with loved ones and reflecting on the year that has gone by. What better way to do that than by gifting the people on your list with memories. Frame a special photo of the two of you, create a scrapbook or photobook. These gifts are cost effective and are something they will treasure forever.

Shopping on a budget, while no easy task, is doable. As you are looking over your shopping list remember these tips and see if you can save yourself a little extra money this holiday season.



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