Stay Debt Free During The Gift Giving Season

With the Christmas season rapidly approaching, you may be worrying about the financial impact of the gifts you will be giving. It is difficult to relax and enjoy the holiday season knowing that big bills will be coming in after the start of the new year. You can have a wonderful holiday season without spending too much money. A commitment to celebrate your holiday season in a debt-free fashion will bring much peace to your life when the New Year comes around. You will not need to worry about the credit card bills that will be coming due in January and February. Here are some ways you can give gifts without going into debt.

1. Make a detailed gift giving list including recipient’s name, gift, and budgeted amount. This way you can gain an overall picture of what you are going to spend. Then, vow to stick with the list and not go over the budget. If you spend more money on a gift than you have budgeted, then another gift will have to cost less than the amount you budgeted. Take your list with you whenever you go shopping and cross off the items as you purchase them. Remember, the goal is to celebrate the holidays with no debt. Avoid impulse purchases as they are usually not budget friendly.

2. To save money on gifts for children, shop for toys and games at consignment stores and garage sales. Many times you can find items that have never been used, are in their original packaging, and cost a fraction of what they would cost in the store. Games are always a great gift idea for children as they have long lasting value.

3. Save money on your gift giving by making your gifts. If you enjoy cooking, make up some pre-made baking kits like your special cookie recipe. Put it in a decorative jar and use fancy ribbon and bows to make the presentation look great and include a hand-written recipe card. If you sew make a handmade blanket or pillow. Even if you are not the crafty type, visit your local craft store and see what gift ideas they have featured. Some of them require very little in the way of expertise and can be made inexpensively.

4. Shop for gifts at your local dollar store and create a themed gift basket of the items you find. You could choose a bath theme gift basket and fill the basket with different toiletries; a toy gift basket made of an assortment of dollar toys; or even a Christmas gift basket filled with some of the Christmas merchandise.

5. Be on the lookout for sales and clearance items. The earlier you start shopping, the better your finds will be. Scan those sale ads every week and check the clearance aisles frequently. I look for kid dress up costumes after Halloween when they all go on sale for 75% off.

With just a little bit of planning and the determination to stay on budget, you can enjoy a holiday season with no worries about debt in the New Year.