Do You Have a Gift Budget?

by Miranda Marquit · 1 comment

Gift giving allows you to express your feelings for loved ones. Whether it is for a birthday, wedding, holiday or for a special occasion, gift giving is part of our society. However, it can get expensive. One way you can more easily fit gift giving into your personal economy is to have a gift budget.

Having a gift budget is not just about starting now to save up for the holidays. It’s about being ready to purchase gifts when something unexpected happens, as well as planning to provide gifts for friends and relatives on regular occasions. A gift account can be a great way to prepare. You can use this money to send flowers when sympathy is required, or to purchase a birthday gift for a sibling. Set aside a few dollars a month for a gift account, and then when it comes time to purchase gifts, you will not be as stressed for money.

Strategies for Funding Your Gift Account

There are a number of strategies you can use to help fund your gift giving. If you use cash a great deal, you can set aside your change from transactions. This includes not only the coins you get for change, but also the dollar bills you might have. Keep all off these items in a jar, and every so often take it to the bank to put in a special account.

Another thing you can do is transfer money into a special gift account. You can set up automatic transactions so that every so often money is moved into an account that can be tapped for gifts. This way, you know that there is money available for you when you are ready to purchase gifts for others.

Saving Money on Gifts

Of course, if you are living a frugal lifestyle, there are some different things you can do to reduce the cost of giving gifts. In the end, it’s the thought that counts, and it is possible to give heartfelt gifts without spending a great deal of money. Think about what you can do to provide others with something meaningful, and you will find that spending a lot of money is not always required.

If you are adept at a skill, it is often possible to create homemade gifts. You can use money from your gift budget to buy materials and supplies needed to create thoughtful, personal gifts. This can include bags, clothing, crafts and even food. If you are into home canning you can find recipes for canned foods that look attractive, as well as taste great. These can be great gifts for others.

Even if you do not feel that you can make homemade items, it is still possible to be frugal when purchasing gifts. Make a list of gifts you are looking for, and keep an eye out for sales and coupons that can help you find discounts on what you are buying. You can also look for simple gifts that show that you have thought about the gift and that you are trying to be meaningful — even if it does not cost very much.

This article was also included in the Festival of Frugality.

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Slackerjo October 10, 2010 at 6:28 pm

We are all grown up, and there are no children in the family right now so I give the money I would spend on gifts to charity. My family means well but they tend to give me useless gifts that I have no use or interest in. I have everything I need and I don’t have the space to accumulate crap. They make about 5 times what I make and so they are literally impossible to shop for. They have everything. So why waste my hard earned money on stuff that will never be used or appreciated when I can give the money to someone who will be grateful for the donation and put it to good use. So I donate about $300 to various charities around the world and enjoy a stress free holiday!

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