Holiday Gifting Tips – Part I
Halloween is behind us. November has hit. It’s that time of year when the holiday season is truly knocking at our doors and our pocketbooks. Maybe you have a big family, maybe you have a million friends, maybe you have a special someone in your life, or maybe your a new mom. No matter what season of life you’re in, the holidays get expensive. If you’re the ultimate champion of gift-giving, deal-busting, and extreme organization, it’s possible you started gearing up for the 2013 holiday season on December 26, 2012. I may be a pretty darn good gifter, I may love a good deal, and I may be a bit of a planner, but even I am not that diligent. I venture to say most of you are like me: just looking to keep your holiday cheer as you watch your paychecks vanish into Secret Santas and potluck parties. Gift giving can and should be fun and rewarding. Let me help you keep your spirits high and your pockets full with ideas on how to maintain your budget and your sanity this holiday season. Over the next two months, I’ll give you tips on how to stay organized, scope great deals, delve into DIYs, and have fun!
1. Get started by making a list of everyone you will likely be buying a gift for this season. I recommend placing people in categories – get as specific or general as you want.
2. Assign general budgets to each category that represent how much you would like to spend per person within that category. If there is someone within the category who is an “exception to the rule,” note that for yourself. For instance, maybe you and your significant other agree to not go over the top for the holidays, so you will spend less on that person than other family members. Perhaps you would like to get a nicer gift for your boss than your other co-workers. You get the gist.
Family ($40 per person)
Friends ($30 per person)
Work ($20 per person)
Kids ($250 per child)
3. Time to check in! Now you’ve got a general idea of how much this holiday season is going to cost you. If you think it’s reasonable to spend $30 per friend, and you have 10 friends on your list, you’re looking at spending $300 on your friends for the holidays. Don’t like how that sounds? It’s time to organize a Secret Santa or gift swap of some kind. If you can eliminate the number of friends (say 5 out of the 10 could participate in a group gifting experience), you could up the amount to say $50. Math time: 5 friends at $30 each + 1 friend at $50 = $200. Now you just saved yourself $100. This could work with your family as well. If you start tallying other categories and they exceed your budget, now is the time to tweak them so you can stick to a plan that is realistic and feasible for you.
You’re one step closer to the best and most budget-friendly holiday season yet! Stayed tuned between now and December 26, 2013 for more tips!