The holidays can be an expensive time of year, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank just to give your loved ones the perfect gift. Follow these 4 budgeting tips to make your holiday gifts more affordable – and still show how much they mean to you!

1. Get Creative with Gifts


Holiday gift-giving can be expensive, especially if you’re trying to buy something special for your friends and family. Finding unique and affordable gifts is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Gifts like Canadian gift baskets are a great way to provide a memorable and affordable present.

You can make them more affordable by getting creative. Consider handmade ones like a DIY blanket, some homemade bath bombs, or a framed photo of the person’s family. They don’t need to be expensive to be meaningful; get creative and find ways to show the recipient just how much you care.

For added savings, look for materials that are free or inexpensive: upcycled items like mason jars for flower vases, clipboards for desk organizers, or wine corks for decorative magnets and keychains. Think outside the box and have fun with it — you might even learn a few new skills along the way. You may also be able to find pallets of items at discounted prices from large stores that offer different types of supplies bundled in one purchase for an overall discount price. Taking advantage of these discounts can help you stay within your holiday budget while giving unique and thoughtful gifts that will feel personal and special without breaking the bank!

2. Set a Holiday Budget


Setting a holiday budget is an important part of maintaining financial stability during the festive season. Setting a specific amount that you would like to spend on gifts, decorations and food can help prevent overspending and the accumulation of debt. Make sure you are realistic in your budgeting, as it’s easy to get carried away with gift-giving while forgetting other important holiday expenses.

When setting your budget, make sure to consider all possible expenses related to the holidays such as decorations, travel costs, food and extra items for entertaining guests. Accessorize your home for the holidays by investing in small pieces rather than large decorations that can quickly blow up your budget. You can also shop around for discounted or clearance items since this time of year is often ripe with sales.

Evaluate whether family members and friends prefer physical gifts or whether they would appreciate vouchers or a monetary contribution more. Finally, determine how much you’re prepared to contribute financially per recipient ahead of time; this will enable you to stay on track financially when gift-shopping.

3. Make a List of Recipients


Consider making two lists – one for close family and friends, and one for acquaintances or coworkers. This will help you focus on those who are most important and prioritize whom you’d like to spend the most on. Be sure to also include days when gifts will either be given or received so you can plan ahead.

Once you have your shopping list, it’s time to start researching ideas and estimating how much each item could cost. Looking through flyers and checking online stores can give you an idea of how much money each recipient will cost in total. It might also be helpful to assign a budget limit per person so that more expensive items don’t blow up your entire budget in one place.

Making a shopping plan before you get to the stores can also help make sure that the money is spent properly once the gifting starts. For example, if you find out that Aunt Mary wants a massage chair and it costs $250, then save up $25 every week until it comes due so that there won’t be any financial mishaps along the way. Don’t forget to factor shipping costs into your plans, too! Sticking as close as possible to your pre-planned amounts is the key to staying within budget during the holidays.

4. Shop Around for Deals


Take advantage of online coupons, sales and discounts when searching for the best deal on desired items. Research different retailers for special discounts or price drops. Consider buying two of the same item from different stores—single-item store prices are often higher than those purchased in a larger quantity or from a wholesale distributor.

If you plan ahead and shop early, you may be able to find better deals. Many stores even offer extra discounts for early holiday buyers. This is especially true for electronics and appliance-related items, which are in high demand during the holidays and tend to have lower rates at the beginning of the shopping season. To save time, look at multiple retailers online before heading out to make purchases in person to get an idea of which store will have the savings that you need. Be cautious when shopping online as some sites may offer inferior products or counterfeits at discount prices. With a little effort and research, you can find good deals on any type of gift that won’t strain your budget this holiday season!

Wrap Up

Once you have them picked out and purchased, it’s time to wrap them up and get ready to give them away. This last step can be cheap. The materials required — wrapping paper, gift tags, tape, ribbons and bows — add up quickly. To make sure your holiday budget doesn’t get derailed by seemingly unavoidable expenses like wrapping supplies, here are a few tips to help you keep your costs down:

  • Use colored tissue paper or brown craft paper for gift boxes. Just tie a piece of ribbon around it for an instant upgrade.
  • Reuse old bags or boxes from the store to package rectangular shaped items instead of buying new containers for each present.
  • With a little creativity and imagination, use newspaper, magazines or fabric scraps to create your own wrapping paper designs.
  • Rather than buying expensive gift tags from the store (or worse — throwing out cards that still have plenty of blank space on them), cut shapes out of recycled cardboard boxes instead.
  • Instead of using ribbons or bows you can also tie twine or raffia on packages for an added personal touch.