It feels like there's always an event for someone, and you need to buy a gift to help celebrate, such as birthdays, retirement, anniversaries and others. Of course, you want to be a generous parent and friend, but it's a good idea to give gifts without going into debt or exceeding your budget. With a little planning and saving, you can give awesome gifts and stay on firm financial ground. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Set a Budget
You already know some of the gifts that you need to buy throughout the year. From your husband's anniversary gift to winter holiday presents for the kids, there are gifts you routinely buy each year. Instead of adding each present to your budget when the time comes to buy it, you should account for these gifts over 12 months as part of each month's savings.
Some banks and credit unions have accounts designed to save for the winter holiday season. These accounts work by taking a set amount out of your main account each week or month and moving the money into the holiday account.
You can provide older children with a budget for their gifts. This budget allows them to pick the presents they want for their birthdays and Christmas, Hanukkah or other winter holidays. It's also a first step in teaching your kids the value of money.
Of course, there will be gifts that come along that you didn't include in your initial budget. It might be a friend at work moving away or a new baby arriving, and you need to give a gift. These unexpected gifts make it essential for you to build a buffer into your gift budget.
If you have a creative nature, then you can probably make some of the gifts you need to give. Perhaps, you can knit a baby blanket or throw a stoneware mixing bowl on your pottery wheel. Pinterest and other websites provide stunning ideas for homemade gifts. Many of the information pinned on this website link to detailed instructions or videos to help you make gifts for friends.
Baking cookies, cakes, and brownies are a great way to give gifts without spending a fortune. Many of the ingredients you need to bake are already in your pantry. You can stop by an arts and crafts store to purchase a decorated tin to present your gift. Tins of baked goods are inexpensive gifts for neighbors and people at work during the holiday season.
You can buy items on sale throughout the year to create gift baskets. Anything from nail polish and candy to popcorn and bath bombs makes popular staple items for a gift basket for your best friend's birthday or for new neighbors who might need a movie night to unwind. The trick is to buy up items that run along a theme, such as a spa day or movie night. When you find these items on clearance, buy and store them until you need a gift.
Buy Now, Save More
It's impossible to know what toy will be the most coveted item by your child's birthday, but you do know other presents they might want ahead of time. When you find items that you can offer as a present to family and friends on sale or at a discounted price, buy them and store them for a future event. In the months before the winter holidays, you can find toys, clothing and other items on sale, so it's a good time to buy things to use as gifts during the year.
With a little planning, you can stay within your budget and give awesome gifts.