I love the holidays and everything about them. There’s just a feeling in the air that puts everyone in a good mood. But then there’s holiday shopping. To me, it’s not as enjoyable because of the large crowds and massive amount of money that I have to dispense from my bank account. Now don’t get me wrong, I love giving holiday gifts to my loved ones; there is no better feeling. But there has to be a way to get everyone something that they love without leaving my wallet feeling thin and empty.

Set a Budget

If you’re planning on staying on budget this year, you have to create one first. Sit down and figure out how much you can afford to spend on gifts. Once you have a set budget, the key is to stick to it. Make a detailed list outlining everyone that you have to buy for and include gift ideas under each name. You can divide your total budget by the number of people on your list to figure out how much you can spend on each person.

Comparison Shop

You might see the perfect gift while you’re out at the mall, but don’t jump the gun quite yet. You may be able to find that very same gift for a lower price at a different retailer. Get online and compare prices to find the lowest one. You may discover that sites like Amazon offer cheaper prices for certain gifts. Plus, some retailers offer special rates for certain online items and even provide free shipping and handling so you don’t have to deal with the added fees typical of virtual purchases.

Resist the Urge to Get Store Credit Cards

When you checkout at stores, the clerks will offer you the chance to open up a store credit card, which may save you 10 to 15 percent on your first purchase. While this may sound tempting, think about the future with this one. It may save you money now, but what about later? If you aren’t able to pay off the balance from that credit card, you can get hit with annual percentage rates. Yuck.

Search Pinterest

I’ve learned that Pinterest is a savior for everything from what I’m making for dinner to what I’m wearing to my New Year’s Eve party. The same goes for holiday shopping. If you’re absolutely fresh out of ideas, I can promise you that you’ll find one on this magical site. It’s especially perfect for searching for presents within your budget. In the search bar, type in “gifts under $50,” and prepare to be amazed. You can even refine your search by clarifying “gifts for mom under $10.” Scroll through Pinterest’s holiday gift giving ideas to spark some inspiration for even the pickiest person on your list.

Go Homemade

Sometimes the best gifts can’t be bought. Get creative and whip up a homemade gift for a family member or friend. For Christmas last year, I made my parents a video slideshow of me and my siblings from childhood all the way to the present. They loved it more than anything I bought from the store.




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