December can be a magically time of the year, but it can also be one of the most stressful. Between seeing your family more, the stampede of Black Friday shopping, and overextending your credit card limit, it can be a lot of keep up with. This December, reduce your stress by adequately managing your budget and gift-giving list. Let go of the sense of obligation to give and make sure to take a good hard look at your finances to know what is plausible for you this year. This year, you may discover that what you can give – yourself, time, or your skills – ends up being more meaningful than a store-bought gift.
How to Give on a Budget
It might be hard to admit to family and friends that you aren’t as financially well-off as you might have wanted, but once you unburden yourself from the weight of the gift-giving expectation, you probably will feel relief. Even more astounding, your friends and family members might express similar feelings and feel grateful that you brought up the subject of scaling back the gifts this year.
Be honest with your friends and family and offer a solution for gift giving this year if money is tight. Perhaps instead, you could suggest a baked goods or book exchange.
If money is tight, but you still love gift giving, you could suggest drawing names. Everyone puts their name in a hat and picks just one name out. You can set a limit of £30 per person, so you can still get something meaningful for the other person, but without the added stress of having to replicate it for every family member.
Give Your Talents
Sometimes the most meaningful gift you can give isn’t a tangible object. Try to access what your personal skills and talents are and how you can help your busy family members. Perhaps you could help your sister organize your closet, put together that furniture for your parents, or declutter the computer of your grandma. You can even do the activity together, so you also get to spend some quality time together.
Of course, if you aren’t careful, making homemade gifts can actually turn out to be way more expensive than buying gifts. However, you can find some really creative ways to make gifts without breaking the bank. If you want ideas on cute handmade ornaments to make, here are some fun ideas.
Christmas doesn’t have to be a stressful time. Maximize your budget and make sure that you aren’t feeling resentful towards your friends and family come January when you see your oversized credit card bill.