Revise Your Shopping List
Christmas may be a time for giving, but no one should go broke trying to buy gifts for everyone they know. Before the holiday shopping season hits its full force, take some time to talk to your friends and family about limiting this year's gift giving. Perhaps everyone could just concentrate on the kids and immediate family members. Trust me, you are not the only one trying to stretch their holiday budget. Chances are, your friends, co-workers, and distant relations will be happy to forgo the gift giving this season.
Make It a DIY Christmas
If the idea of shortening your shopping list doesn't appeal to you, why not make this year a do-it-yourself Christmas. Instead of spending huge amounts of money at the shops, use your own creativity to make home made gifts for friends and family. There was a time when home made Christmas gifts were the norm, and they can still pack an emotional punch. It's only natural to want to treat you loved one to something expensive at Christmas, but trust me, they'll be just as thrilled with something you created with your own love and imagination.
Set Price Limits
Setting cost limits on Christmas gifts is something most of us are familiar with. It's common practice at the office and workplace. The same thing can be done with friends and family. Before the holiday shopping melee begins, discuss setting dollar limits on everyone's Christmas gifts, and work out a fair price range that suits everybody's budget. One extra tip here, however. Make it clear that the price range is firm, and that it's bad manners to simply ignore it because someone has a little extra cash. Once the price range is agreed upon, everyone has to follow the rule.
Save Money With Gift Cards
Gift cards are always popular as Christmas gifts. They make it easy to find the right gift for those hard to shop for people on your list. Gift cards are also particularly convenient for friends and family members that may live out of town, and won't be making the trip home for the holidays. More importantly, gift cards are a great way to save money. If you plan it right, and begin your shopping early, you can often find brand name gift cards at great discount prices. For example, if you buy your gift cards online through Costco, you can often save up to 20% off the face value of each card. That will definitely help to stretch your holiday shopping budget.
Yes, Christmas is on its way again, and soon the shops will be filled with anxious and excited shoppers. It is the season of giving, but that doesn't mean you have to land yourself in debt. This year, plan ahead and be a bit more thoughtful in your gift giving. There's no reason you can't save a little money, and still give everyone on your list something truly special.