There are certain times of the year when you are going to feel the pinch in your pocket. We are thinking of Valentine’s Day, wedding anniversaries, birthdays, and the number one biggie in the calendar year, Christmas. Wonderful days every one of them, but when you are struggling to afford to buy gifts, they can also be quite stressful. What can you do about them? Aside from conveniently forgetting about them (you will have a hard time doing that at Christmas), you could focus on gift ideas that won’t break the bank.
Look for the cheaper option – So, you have been given a wishlist of things your friend or loved one would like on the special day, and when you price them up, you begin to balk at the expense. Still, you can do yourself a favour by shopping around. If your car-enthusiast partner wants a new registration plate, for example, don’t pay over the odds when you can buy cheap DVLA number Plates from PrimoRegistrations. If your kids want the latest games or DVDs, pre-order them on Amazon, as you will be guaranteed the lowest price on the item when launch day arrives. And put into Google the item your best mate wants for her birthday, and then head to the shopping tab where you will be able to find the lowest price available for the product.
Make something yourself – If you have a particular skill, then make something for your friends or family, rather than denting your bank account. If you are good in the kitchen, bake a cake. If you have green fingers, prepare a homegrown bouquet of flowers. If you have a knack with a piece of wood, create something practical or imaginative that you think the other person would love. And think about those other skills, music, art, writing, and so on. Could your talents go into creating a gift?
Give them a gift card – Okay, so this shows zero imagination. Still, you can go for the lowest gift card you can afford, be that for Amazon, iTunes, or whatever store is appropriate for the people in your life, and neatly gift wrap it, so it at least looks like you have put some creative thought into the gift. And while it may not be the most glamorous present on the pile, you can guarantee the recipient will be happier with the gift card than some other present that holds meaningless value to them – a new tie, anyone?
Give them an experience – A material gift will perish and wither away (maybe), but an experience can last a lifetime (thanks to the memories). So, think outside the box a little, and then think inside the box when you have decided on an idea. You might pack something for a movie night, with popcorn, drinks, and a month’s subscription to Netflix. Or you might give a newly married couple something for date night, with candles, sweet treats, and a cheap bottle of wine. You don’t have to go overboard – go with what you can afford – and think of the person’s likes and dislikes when you are creating the experience.
Those were our ideas, but you may have some of your own. Let us know your money-saving gift ideas, giving all of us a chance to save some money in the weeks and months to come.