How to Make Holiday Shopping for Your Family More Affordable

Holidays are a time when there is pressure to give gifts, but when finances are more difficult this can put someone under a lot of financial stress. Here are some ways you can make this gift-giving more manageable monetarily.

Some love holiday shopping while others hate it. No matter your feelings, it’s a good idea to create a financial strategy to make this process more affordable. It is still possible to give your loved ones meaningful presents without breaking the bank.

Set a Monthly Budget

It's a good idea to save throughout the entire year instead of trying to find enough money around the holiday season. You can create a separate checking or savings account for these funds so you are not tempted to use them for other things. Create a realistic monthly savings goal and divide the total amount you will save by the number of people you will be purchasing for. This is the amount you have for each person. Of course, you might give some people, like your significant other, more. However, it’s important to make sure siblings get the same number of presents to prevent rivalry. One way of cutting back on your monthly spending is through refinancing your student loans. Getting a new loan can free up enough cash to make a difference in your holiday savings. It also simplifies repayments so you can cross multiple payments off your to do list.

Create a List

Before you go anywhere, spend some time thinking about what you want to give each person. Think of things that will matter to each person you are gifting to. You can then put estimated costs by each item. That allows you to prioritize what your family would most like to receive, and you might be able to cut it down before you go to the store and are tempted to purchase anything. Sticking to this list can help you stay within budget and avoid any impulse purchases.

Look for Sales and Coupons

Take some time to shop around and look for sales before purchasing anything. This is something you might be able to do throughout the year to find cost efficient holiday gifts instead of waiting for the holiday season. There can be sales at the end of seasons and after the holidays as retailers are looking to unload their current stock and bring in the next seasons.

Focus on Meaningful Gifts

Presents do not have to be expensive to be meaningful to your family, especially if your kids are old enough to appreciate the thought behind a present. Spend some time thinking about gifts that would be meaningful to your family. Perhaps you can give something based on a joke with your family instead of an expensive toy. This saves money and will likely be cherished for longer than an item that would break soon. If you have a hobby, consider ways to turn this into a present. If you like woodworking, you might be able to make Christmas ornaments for your family. Think about ways of turning your hobby into an experience as well. You could give a certificate for lessons on how to do something you are good at. Think of it as giving the gift of your time.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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