Going over-budget (wait, what’s a budget?) during the holidays is easy to do. TOO easy, in fact. So the most important thing to do is actually SET a budget (ugh) and NOT put everything on credit cards.
Here are five things to AVOID if you want to stay within that budget and trust me, I’m a certified shopaholic…so these tips are really meant for me! LOL!
1. Overspending just to impress someone. This one is really common with young adults who feel they have to prove to their parents that they’re doing ok financially. But boyfriends and husbands do it a lot too. (In the case of the latter, they SHOULD overspend on girlfriends and wives. Wait, did I just say that out loud? Oops.)
2. Buying presents for too many people. You don’t have to give a gift to EVERY dope in your life. For that matter, you don’t have to give to every co-worker, neighbor and friend you have. Besides, home-made gifts are always nice for friends and neighbors. Who doesn’t love fresh baked cookies in a festive tin? (But don’t forget to budget for the tin and the dough… LOL!)
One year I decided to save money and crochet scarves and hats for a few friends. Well, THAT backfired. I never finished and wasted money not only on my silly crafting idea, but then wasted MORE money going out to buy something instead of the crochet disaster. Not to mention my hand injury from crocheting. OUCH. So I guess, part of this tip is; if you’re gonna be crafty: THINK IT THROUGH!
3. Spending the SAME amount on EACH kid you have. It might SEEM fair but let’s be honest: your 4 year old will be happy with the BOX the toy came in, but go ahead and spend a little more on your 12 year old. Really, it’s OK! (As long as you don’t TELL them, they won’t know the difference!!!)
4. Forgetting to factor the little things into your budget. Friggin’ wrapping paper, tape, gift bags, markers, ribbons, shipping costs, higher utility bills and money to cover any holiday parties you’re planning. THAT’s the crap that GET’S ya..so factor it in!
5. Doing all your shopping last minute. Well this one is obvious. It can put you over budget cuz you can’t pick something thoughtful, you have to just grab SOMETHING and you’re gonna pay through the nose for overnight shipping. One year I did that and the dang shipping was MORE EXPENSIVE than the gift.
There you have it… what are YOUR money saving holiday gift giving ideas?