The holiday spirit is upon us. With just a few days until Christmas, this is when many of you are doing your last minute shopping for gifts, planning weekend and New Year’s Eve parties, baking and so much more. It’s a wonderful time of year and you shouldn’t give up the festivities but if you’re trying to cut back on spending in order to improve your financial status next year, then here are a few tips to help:
Stick To Your List
While shopping for gifts for other, we have the tendency to get carried away; often spending much more than we ever expected we would. This can cause severe financial hardship down the road when we get hit with reality after the holiday season.
When you are shopping for gifts, make sure that you stick to your list of recipients. It’s great if you can also give your co-workers, distant relatives and casual friends something but avoid going overboard. Instead, consider sending a card to let them know you’re thinking about them. Another great idea for co-workers and casual friends is the White Elephant Gift Exchange – just make sure you limit it to around $10.
Lastly, you don’t need to feel bad when a friend gets you a gift and you don’t have one to give back. Just thank them and be grateful. Unless it’s someone very close to you, they won’t think anything of it. Just don’t give out of guilt. If they’re not on your list, they’re not in your budget.
The Perfect Gift is Whatever You Can Give
Gift giving can actually be quite stressful. We’re always afraid that the recipient won’t appreciate or like our gift or it won’t measure up to something they gave you or received from another person. There’s no reason that you should feel obligated to turn gift giving into a competition.
The unfortunate truth is that, for many, holiday gift giving has become a competition. Bragging about the excessive amount of money that you spent on gifts just takes away from the spirit of giving in the first place. You should be giving to show how much you care, not how much you spend. So if your gift is thoughtful and warm, it doesn’t matter how much it did or didn’t cost. What matters is that you’re giving from the heart.