7 Ways to Make Gift-Giving Cost Effective All Year-RoundAnna Newell Jones
Even if you’ve vowed to cut down on your overall expenses, it can be hard to fight the guilt over skipping out on giving gifts to those you love for their special occasions. The good news is you don’t have be a total Grinch and still manage to save money.
Here are 7 ways to give gifts without breaking the bank:
7 Ways to Make Gift-Giving Cost Effective All Year-Round 1 of 8
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Make a Gifting List 2 of 8
It can be really tempting to pick up a ton of gifts for everyone in your life just because. Take time to make out a list of people you generally want to buy for throughout the year including your immediate family, closest friends, and upcoming special occasions (weddings, new baby). If you come across something someone on that list would love, resist the temptation to buy unnecessary gifts. Create a visual calendar of when the special occasions that will need a gift will happen throughout the year so you can plan ahead.
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Funnel Away Cash 3 of 8
Earmark a savings account for your gift-giving needs. Have $5-$10 from each paycheck funneled into that account. You can even increase the deposited amount if you do not have a Christmas Club account opened already. Whatever money you save in this account should only be used for gift-giving purposes. By having such an account, you can also see how much you actually spend on gifts in a year's time.
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Stock Up on Savings 4 of 8
When you have stockpiled away cash in your gift-giving fund, you'll have access to cash within your budget when you spy a sale. Clearance sales and other discount savings can net you a bunch of gifts for less. Make sure you are buying with a purpose and person in mind. Keep a large bin at home for your gift purchases so nothing gets lost or used. Keep an inventory sheet of items purchased and for which occasion so you don't overbuy.
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Find Those Gift Cards 5 of 8
There is a good chance you have a pile of half-used gift cards in your wallet. Take some time to gather them up and find out how much money is on each card using the Internet or by making a phone call. Write the balance on the card with permanent market on the front of the card. Utilize the balances towards gift purchases for others.
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Get Personal 6 of 8
Stop wasting money on meaningless gifts. Consider who you are buying for when planning out gift purchases rather than running ragged through the mall in search of anything. If you best friend loves to bake, spend $20 on a bunch of little things related to baking rather than a $50 sweater they will never wear. Jot down ideas on things you have seen for people when you don't have the money to spend. When your gift fund is full again, you'll know just what to look for and your recipient will be pleased at your thoughtfulness.
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Go with Homemade Gifts 7 of 8
With so many amazing ideas on Pinterest there is no excuse for making crappy homemade gifts. The ideas are plentiful and the skill level for different gifts vary depending on your craftiness. Making gifts is a great way to save on gifts.
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Re-gift 8 of 8
Re-gifting, understandably, tends to leave a bad taste in people's mouths but if it's done right it can be an effective way to save money. Key things to remember: the item must be new and in it's original packaging, it must be something the person would actually like, and you have to make sure the original gift-giver won't be around when the new recipient opens the gift.
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