It seems each year the holiday shopping season begins earlier and earlier. We get bombarded by the catalogs, TV ads, internet ads and tons of offers arriving daily to our inboxes. No wonder most of us impulse buy and overspend. It’s so easy to get deceived into believing we need and should give the hottest, latest and greatest gadget, toy or outfit without giving it any thought. A gift should be an expression of appreciation, respect and love to the receiver. Now, don’t confuse the more expensive gifts equating to more appreciation, love and respect. The value of the gift is not what’s important but the action someone takes to demonstrate appreciation. Sometimes during our life, we can give a more expensive gift and other times due to financial limitations we need to get a bit more creative. This holiday season get creative and practice good financial habits by following these five guidelines.
- Set realistic expectations based on your finances;
- Create a holiday budget that will not create additional debt
- Have a plan
- Track your budget
- Avoid impulse buys and overspending; Refer to your plan and budget
If you are thinking of alternative gift giving ideas. Here is a list of things I enjoy doing that are creative and budget friendly.
- Paint a holiday ornament or decoration
- Bake cookies
- Ornament exchange – I love Pier One Li Bien ornaments.
- Hot Chocolate kits
- Movie tickets
- Frame a picture to remember a past event
- Send a special hand-written note
- Hand lotions – I love these from World Market
- The latest book you read and enjoyed.
- Take time to catch up with friends and family but truly be present.
When you are thinking of gift giving these holiday season think of creative ways to show our appreciation, respect and love towards others. I would love to hear your ideas!
I wish you and your family a safe and healthy holiday season.