Frugal Holiday Gift-Giving Guide

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, but if you’re like most people, you still have some work to do on that long list of Christmas gifts. While the holiday season can get pricy, there are ways to cut down your costs and leave a little extra dough in your wallet once the gifting season is done.

Shop the Sales

Just because Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed doesn’t mean that the holiday sales are over. Most stores continue to offer special holiday deals throughout the month of December to entice customers. Keep an eye on your favorite retailers’ website and social media pages for sale announcements.

Doing your holiday shopping online will also keep you focused on your gift list, and less likely to be tempted by impulse buys for yourself.

Give from the Heart

Few things are more special than a handmade gift, so work your creativity this holiday season. If you’re not particularly artistic, don’t worry – there are still plenty of ways to make a creative gift for loved ones. Baked goods, scrapbooks, scented bath salts, and dry baking mixes make excellent presents. To get started, search Pinterest for handmade gift ideas. Just knowing that you put the time and thought into personalizing your gift will make all the difference to your recipient.

Plan Ahead

While it's too late to budget for this year's Holiday festivities, there’s always next year! Total your spending on this holiday season, including gifts, traveling and decorations; and then decide if you’d like to spend more or cut back next year. Once you have your number, divide by 12 and schedule an automatic savings transfer for each month of next year. Your holiday savings are made effortless and gift giving will be much easier on your finances next year. And don't forget post-Holiday sales for deeply discounted lights, decorations, gift wrapping and cards. Now that’s something to make your holidays even merrier!