Being able to afford gifts for family and friends can become expensive as your family grows, and that too of a close friend. While it is great to be able to spoil your loved ones with presents for birthday celebrations or holidays, you want to make sure you aren’t overextending your finances to do this. There are many frugal ways you can still gift presents without the huge cost associated. Here are ideas to spread the cost of gift giving throughout the year:
Traditionally used in offices across the country, gifting ‘secret Santa’ style is a great way to manage expenses while still participating in the season’s spirit, be it Christmas or any other time of the year. An effective way to organize many people for this type of gift-giving is to use a platform that allows you to keep everything in place, such as Elfster. You can choose who to exclude from your own recipients, such as your spouse, set a budget, and upload wishlists. The only stipulation you will need to pay attention to is to have an even number of participants to ensure everyone gets a gift.
Set Agreed Limits
If you find you are spending a lot of money within family or friendship groups, it may be worthwhile having everyone agree to a specific spending limit per person. This can ease expectations as you know exactly what you have to spend. Alternatively, if your family has many children, you can discuss opting out of gifting adults instead of focussing on children.
Shop Out of Season
Possibly the best way you can afford to give a gift within your budget is to shop in sales all year round. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, January post-holiday sales are all great times of year to shop to get gifts at greatly reduced prices. Use this to shop cards and gift wrap too. Just don’t forget where you have hidden the gifts when the time comes!
If you are signed up to collect loyalty points in different stores, save up all of your points or bonuses to allow you to put the savings towards buying gifts. This will feel like you are shopping for free – which in essence, you are. Your regular spending in-store will build up your offers and loyalty rewards to allow you to use the card for various benefits that come with the scheme.
Store cards or gift cards that you can reload or top-up can be a lifesaver. Adding a small amount frequently can add up to a bigger lump sum that can go towards gifting throughout the year or over the holiday season. Or you can even gift the actual loaded gift card itself. Putting a small amount aside in a savings account or money jar at home you can’t access is also a great alternative.
Getting creative with how you approach the more expensive parts of the year can help you avoid your spending becoming unmanageable and still gift loved ones for birthdays and special occasions.