There are few things as satisfying as handpicking the perfect holiday gifts and seeing the excitement on your loved ones’ faces as they open them. However, it can be easy to go overboard on the quest to bring that joy and find your wallet suffering in the aftermath. If that’s something you’re familiar with, here are a few tips for minimalizing your spending without letting the gift of giving suffer this year.
Consider whether your budget is reasonable. Compare the amount you plan to spend on the holidays with important costs that could realistically present themselves. Would the price of an emergency car repair become difficult to afford? Would you be able to pay a month’s rent with the amount you spent on gifts? Prioritize having the means to exist before putting it all in your holiday pot.
Manage expectations. No one wants to feel like they’ve disappointed people with their gift giving, but sometimes being realistic about spending means the presents you give may not be as lavish as they were in a previous year. Being open and honest with your loved ones in advance can make people even more appreciative with much less spent.
Cut down on the garnish. Sometimes you don’t even realize just how much of the cost of gift giving comes from all the new decorations, wrapping paper, bells and sparkles we add to our gifts. The thoughts and experiences that come from putting in effort far outweigh the fleeting smile brought by a ribbon or elaborate piece of wrapping.
Think different when planning your holiday feast. Rather than spending a wad on the biggest turkey, first consider if there are financially sustainable alternative options. Visit one of the many nonprofit organizations that eliminate food waste by selling perfectly good produce that would otherwise be discarded, or perhaps have a scout out to see which grocers or organizations are offering special holiday discounts, even if it means slightly changing this year’s dinner.