The following is a guest post.
Christmas can be an expensive time of the year for many families. You have to buy gifts, and then entertain family and friends. However, to avoid going into debt and needing to get help from places like Debt Free Direct, here are some tips to have Christmas on a budget.
Out to Dinner
Every Christmas my friends and I, since childhood, have been exchanging gifts. When we were younger, this was always an exciting time. We would give things that we knew everyone was going to love. But as we have gotten older, we have all realized that we don’t need anymore “stuff.” We spend too much time and money buying things we hope the other person will like, knowing they don’t need anything we are buying.
For the past five years, my friends and I have made a pact not to buy each other gifts. Instead, we go out to a really nice dinner and split it nine ways (yes, the waiter hates us). This way we are all getting what we truly want which is spending time with each other. Now this will only work if everyone agrees to the pact. In the beginning there was always someone who bought gifts anyways. They soon caught on and now we are all enjoying our Christmas on a budget with each other.
This may seem counterintuitive to buy gift cards for Christmas on a budget because it’s basically the same as giving cash, but I have found a way to save. I’m a member of a large discount store and over the past few years they have started selling a large variety of gift cards to different stores/restaurants/events at a discount. For example, I bought a gift card pack to a local restaurant at two for one prices! They come in individual envelopes, so I break them up and give as two gifts. The store also had a gift card for a two rounds of golf with carts at a golf course of my choice for about 20% off. I bought this for my Dad last year, and he really enjoyed it.
Photo by: Sister72
I agree with your post, especially the gift cards! A lot of places around Christmas time will give you a discount and extra cash on gift cards if you buy from them.
Hopefully, this article changes some of your purchasing during the holidays. Get more for your money!
I love the idea of not getting gifts and instead going out to dinner. The holidays (for me) is more special with family and games than it is with “stuff.”
Having a memorable experience can be a lot better than a “gift” that you may never use.
Dominique Brown says
I absolutely agree with your post! My wife and I also like giving away gift cards from our favorite restaurants, spas & fitness clubs instead of buying gift items for our friends. It saves us money, and it is also more practical, instead of giving away something that your friends might not use.
Can I give you my address? There are are always some gifts that I just never use.
I guess it depends upon one’s age, and especially the age of the recipient. For instance, our children don’t value quite as much, spending time at a nice meal out as opposed to getting a Nook, Kindle or new phone.
And being the techie of the family, I have a difficult time within trying to figure out whether I’d rather have some really cool gadget or something like a toy that makes me have to think, instead of simply having a nice meal out with the family.
Guess the kids get it from me. 🙂
Although I also thoroughly look forward to and enjoy time with family members instead of gifts from/to them.
I think a combination of both will work, although I prefer a family experience more. It is longer lasting and more rewarding.