Stop The Maddness – Stop The Excessive Gift Purchasing
The Christmas season is now but a distant memory for most of us. But you may be reminded of it, not for the joyous memories of spending time with your family. But instead, thoughts of paying for all those gifts you bought are racing through your mind. You maybe thinking about fiscal cliffs and tax increases, and wondering about debt help terms. It may be a bit over whelming; but debt counselors like ALLABOUTMONEY.COM can help.
Here are some common sense tips to make sure you can enjoy the holidays without getting into financial trouble.
Decide who you are buying for before you start.
If you have a large family or have many friends, you may not have the finances to purchase for everyone. Decide before you start purchasing any gifts who you are buying for. It may just be your spouse, your children, your parents, your in-laws and a select few other people. You may not need to buy something for Uncle Jimmy who you only see once a year at Christmas or Cousin Betty who moved to Florida twenty years ago and you have not seen her since.You may need to let your people know that you are cutting back on the number of gifts you are purchasing because you are want to be financially smart.
Know your limit on how much you are spending on each person.
Once you have decided who you are buying for, then you must decide on an amount you are willing to spend. For some people, you may want t0 spend a little more, like your parents. For others, you may be a little less, like a niece or nephew are just babies. One way to stick with a designated amount is to buy a gift card to the person’s favorite store. Gift cards are an excellent idea because the person can get what he or she really wants and you don’t have to guess. Also, it prevents you from buying multiple gifts and going over your designated limit.
Do not feel obligated to buy gifts for someone just because they buy you a gift.
Many times, you will receive a gift from a co-worker or a neighbor. You may feel like you are obligated to purchase something for them. But check your list, if they are not on your original list, don’t feel like you have be buying something for them. If they truly gave you the gift from their heart, they should not be expecting anything in return. You can give them a thank you note, expressing your gratitude. And then for their birthday or another date in the future, you can give them a gift.
Consider homemade gifts.
Some times the best gifts are not the ones purchased, but the ones that are home made. If you have a favorite recipe, nothing can warm a person’s heart like homemade cookies, cakes or breads. I have given friends and family homemade cranberry bread and I have received the most enthusiastic “thank you’s”. And the cost for an entire cake is generally in the $5 to $10 range. Using this price range can help you expand your list of people who you can give to.
Homemade Cranberry Bread
Another alternative, homemade lip balm.
The holiday seasons should be a joyful and happy time spent with family and friends. You don’t want to get consumed by the need to be buying for everyone and hurting your financial stability in the process. Set your limits, stick to it and it will be a happier time for everyone.