Handling the Holidays on a Tight Budget

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but trying to spread holiday cheer can make you feel less than jolly. Want to give your loved ones the world, but find yourself barely able to afford a pair of socks for each of them? We can relate. That’s why we’re sharing tips on how we’re tackling gift-giving without draining our savings.

Make a list and check it twice

Be aware of how much you can afford to spend on presents, and budget your buying accordingly. Before you start shopping, make a list of each person you need to buy for and note how much you can afford to spend on them. Plan ahead and pay attention so you don’t run out of funds halfway through your list!

Take advantage of secret santa exchanges

All the fantastic people in your life do deserve great presents, but it might not be in your budget. If you have a large family or a large group of friends, suggest a “secret santa” exchange so everyone can get one great gift! Concerned about how to draw names for exchanges with out-of-towners? My friends and I used www.drawnames.com and got alerted via email who we were assigned!

Take the time to look for deals

Shop smart during the holiday season! My dad makes me feel extremely guilty any time I go to the mall without a coupon. Keep a folder of all the coupons you receive in the mail, and create a digital folder for all the email offers you receive. Check these resources before every shopping trip, or leave the coupons in your car so you’ll never forget them. Sign up for reward programs like ebates and discount apps like Target’s Cartwheel. Purchase gift cards at Giant Eagle to receive gas perks; even if you aren’t giving gift cards as presents, you can use them to purchase your gifts!

Give from the heart

A great present doesn’t have to break the bank, and your loved ones will appreciate thoughtful gifts more than expensive one. Love to bake? Gift your family members their favorite cookies! If art is your forte, put effort into something heartfelt and handcrafted. Simply give your time and offer to take your grandparents to lunch, or show up early to help the host set up for Christmas dinner. Still stumped? Borrow one of these ideas!

We’d love to get gifts for all of our readers, but unfortunately we’re also on a budget…

How do you make it through the holidays without overspending? Share your tips with us in the comments (seriously, we need them)!

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