How to save cash for gift giving without major sacrifices
Money for Gifts
by David Kimball
My Story: Money-Saving Gifts
Five Tips for a Happy Thrifty Holiday
So you have a birthday or a gift giving event coming up and you are not quite sure how you are going to handle the gifts. Events and holidays can be tough on the pocketbook because gift giving is almost impossible to fit into a household budget. Yes, you could put it into your flexible spending or your petty cash categories, but who wants to give up on their spending for these extra gifts? The best thing to do in this situation is to find a way to save a few dollars here and there throughout the year to buy the gifts you need. It should not be too difficult to do if you go about it in the right way. Read on for some useful ways to save cash for gift giving without causing pain to your household budget.
Cut Out the Fast Food
If you work a regular nine to five job, chances are that you spend a lot of money on fast food to feed yourself during lunch. Five dollars a day for lunch five days a week is $25 a week. With four weeks in a month, that is $100 that you could save for gift giving by cutting out the fast food for a while and taking a lunch to work with you. You will probably also find that you are losing those few extra pounds you wanted to get rid of, too. What a great way to kill two birds with one stone!
Shop with a List
If you are like many, you do not shop with a list. Just because you make a list of the things you need and put it on your refrigerator does not count as a grocery list. If you want to save some money, shopping with a list is a great way to start. This cuts out all impulse buying, not to mention these things are not good for you to be buying much of in the first place, such as cookies and brownies. Sorry.
Keep the Change
Hanging onto your change is one good way of saving money. Say your check is exactly $567.65. What do you normally do with that extra money? Probably spend it on nothing of much value. That seven dollars and change would go nicely in your bank account, and combined with your other methods of saving money, it can help to quickly add up.
Coupons are not just for your Mom or Grandparents. Sure you saw them sit down every Sunday with a stack of papers and a pair of scissors, but have you ever thought about the fact that they probably did not just do that for their health? Those few cents that you save with each coupon are another quick way to save some extra cash to buy those gifts you need. This "found" money can add up fast if you take your coupon savings and put it away in the bank.
Start Early and Save Often
With all of these ways and the few tricks you probably have up your own sleeve, gift giving does not have to be a financial pain. Start out a month or two in advance, and before you know it, you will have a stack of cash to spend on gifts with virtually no pain to your household budget.
For more great ideas, download your own copy of the Tips on Budgeting Reference Guide at no cost. David Kimball offers Personal Financial Coaching to help you save money, get out of debt, and live financially free in 36 months or less.
Take the Next Step:
- Do you struggle to get ahead financially? Then you'll want to subscribe to our free weekly Surviving Tough Times newsletter aimed at helping you 'live better...for less'. Each issue features great ways to help you stretch your dollars and make the most of your resources.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- What you should (and shouldn't) buy in November
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- 6 tips for a fabulously free vacation
- Secrets to living luxuriously for less
- Money-saving secrets of the rich and frugal
- 4 secrets to being a frugal foodie
- 6 ways a pet could save you money
- Make money on Black Friday
- Turning your hobby into extra income
- How to score cheap concert and sport tickets and avoid ripoffs
- 10 steps to zap holiday stress
- Unique ways to wrap holiday gift cards