At various points during the calendar year, you are expected to give people presents. Of course, all of these birthdays, holiday seasons, weddings, and baby showers can begin to add up. Before you know it, you can spend hundreds of dollars on people you may not even be all that close to and not save money.
Well, if you are tired of being put in this position, there’s good news for you! There are many different ways to save money while still presenting others with quality gifts. If you want to learn the secrets behind this strategy, keep reading to save money on presents:
Create a Budget
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When people go shopping for presents, they will make a list. However, this list just consists of the items you want to buy. Rarely is there any indication of how much you should spend in total. Naturally, without such a guideline, you may end up splurging a lot more than you intended.
If you want to stop this from happening, then you need to construct a budget. To manage this, here is what you need to include in your financial plan.
Create an Overall Spending Limit
This is a tactic that is useful when you are celebrating a holiday and need to buy presents for multiple people. You can figure this out by following these steps:
- Calculate the amount from your disposable income that can be allocated to gift buying
- From this amount, calculate how much you want to spend
- Use this as a set point for your overall spending limit
Determine Individual Spending Limit
Then it is up to you to decide how much you will be setting aside for each person’s present. To figure this out, it is a good idea to prioritize. For instance, you can allocate smaller amounts for people you aren’t that familiar with. Save the higher amounts for immediate family and close friends.
Here are some guidelines on how to disperse the total budget:
- Around 50 percent of budget on partner and children
- Around 25 percent of budget for close family members and friends
- Spend $10 to $20 on everyone else
There is another advantage of determining the individual amount for each present. When you create this boundary, you can narrow the scope of the present as well. In this way, you will find it much simpler to decide what to buy someone.
Select Cheaper Presents for Children
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Kids don’t care about price tags. Therefore, they are never going to examine a present and pronounce it to be “cheap” or “second-rate”. All little one’s focus on is how fun or interesting their present is. This is why it doesn’t make sense to waste too much money trying to buy them an expensive present and save money.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the present has to be of poor quality. There are several gift guides for kids that offer up some truly wonderful ideas. These presents are innovative, entertaining, and affordable. So, they check all the boxes.
If you don’t follow any guide, there are still some “rules” to abide by, however. These include buying:
- Age-appropriate presents
- Toys or gadgets that are currently cool
- Name-brand merchandise
Make Your Present Count
Think about it for a moment, why do you feel the need to buy expensive presents for people? There are probably one of two reasons. You either want to show someone that you care about them. Or, you want to avoid looking cheap.
Now, the issue here is that you are automatically assuming that a higher price tag makes a present worthier or better. This isn’t the case, however. If the present doesn’t interest the recipient, it isn’t going to matter how much it cost. At the end of the day, the receiver is still not going to have much use for it.
This is why you need to change up your tactics when shopping for people. Do a little research on people to figure out what they really will love. These presents often have to do with hobbies or passion projects. Or, it could even be something that a certain person needs but will not purchase for themself.
You will discover that the perfect present doesn’t cost that much. Not to mention, the recipient will be touched that you put that much effort into figuring out what they wanted. Then, the cost of the present isn’t going to matter.
Shop with Cash
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Making all these plans for yourself is the easy part. Sticking to your budget is the tricky part. It is quite easy to go overboard when you are in a store. This is why one of the best ways to avoid overspending is to shop with cash, even for the big-ticket items.
Now, credit cards do make shopping easier, especially when you are shopping for numerous items at one time. However, they can also reduce the impact of how much you are spending. When you have to just swipe a card, it can be difficult to automatically absorb how much you have spent. That shock only sets in later on.
However, when you have to count out each bill and hand the cash over, you are instantly aware of how much you are splurging. Even the simple act of having to look into your wallet to check to see if you have enough money can be a wake-up call. In short, it is more difficult to overspend with cash.
To rein yourself in, make sure you only have a specific amount of money before heading out on your shopping trip. Leave your credit and debit cards at home. When you have no other option, you will be forced to only spend as much as you budgeted for.
As you can see, you don’t have to empty your bank account every time you have to buy presents for people. Instead, use these simple tactics to keep yourself on a strict budget. Although it may take some effort, you will be glad that you got a proper handle on your spending.