A lot of people tend to be under the assumption that the more you spend on the gift the better. I guess that really depends on what it is, who you ask, and what kind of person you are, and there’s nothing wrong with that!  Everyone’s different, everyone is pleased by some things over others.  Personally I’m not fussy, I don’t expect gifts but if I get them that’s great! But what happens when Christmas is coming up and you have a budget?

I prefer to be the gift giver instead of a gift receiver because I love making people happy and getting them something special. I don’t always have the means to do that though, and I’m sure many of you reading this can relate. There have been many times where my gifts have had to be homemade bakes, and a friend of mine the other year knitted all her gifts, it was pretty amazing.

It’s not always going to be possible to do that though, as time is also a factor.  I baked cookies and cakes for 2 straight days and because they’re perishables you have to account for how long they’ll stay before they need to be eaten so I ended up baking about 2 days before Christmas day to make sure they could still all be eaten.  And knitting is not quick task either, my friend had to start in August to get hers all finished in time! Both of us working around full time jobs – exhausting.  Gift giving shouldn’t be exhausting…

Be Prepared!

The best thing you can do is start budgeting your finances early.  It may sound silly but you’ll kick yourself the later you leave it. For Christmas, I start my budget around end of September, beginning of October.  Set aside “x” amount of money for gifts, and then split that up amongst who you’re spending for.  Make a list of family and friends you intend to buy for and then prioritise them.

Fussy Family Members

If you’re like me and struggle to buy for your mum and dad, I tend to buy them little food hampers with lots of little things in it – tea, coffee,  some chocolates and biscuits, crisps.  There’s nothing stopping you from personalising it and making your own and adding in their favorite little things. They don’t have to be expensive either! I’ve made this a little tradition each year (and you can get some pretty nifty snacks from the poundshop!)

Friends

With your friends maybe set a spend limit that you agree on together, or if you’re struggling moneywise, why not politely suggest something else in place of buying presents, like a movie night at home where everyone brings a little something (food wise) and that way you can just enjoy each others company without sweating over what’s in your bank!

Leftover Budget

Another thing I tend to do when I’ve got a little extra leftover from my budget is buy bulk packets of things and then make one little package using one of each of those things to make a mini present bundle.  For example, one thing I’ve done the last 2 years was buy a bulk pack of little Cath Kidston hand creams, some big fluffy socks, lip balms and some truffles, and separated them all, then wrapped them in cellophane with some ribbon to create a cute little bundle of hand cream, truffles, socks and lip balm – it cost me roughly £20, and I got 4 little bundles out of it to give to my girl friends – £5 per friend and they looked downright adorable and more importantly thoughtful.   

Do you have any of your own little tips and tricks? Feel free to share them in the comments section below or pop me an email, I’d love to hear your ideas! 🙂

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