Gift Giving on a Budget


Gift giving can be stressful because we feel bad not giving to everyone and it’s hard to find a perfect gift for each person. A budget for gifts should be included after each paycheck. It’s hard to spend within your means during the holidays. Refer back to the basic budgeting tool here.

Participating in white elephant gifting with my family and secret santa gift exchanges with my friends helped shorten the gift giving list to only a few people, which helps cut out expenses from my budget. I also made a few gifts to give out to a few family members and coworkers. My friends and coworkers have given me such thoughtful gifts! I feel bad that I’m not able to splurge a little more on gifts, but I have to keep reminding myself that my priority is to get out of debt as soon as possible.

Suggestions for saving during Christmas season

1. White Elephant

My family has been doing this almost every year now that my cousins & I are trying to be adults and save money. We don’t usually go with a gift theme, but our gift limit is usually $20. We’re extremely competitive so we get a kick out of contributing the “coolest” gift and stealing presents from each other.  I got a Lavany face and body cleansing brush Lavany face and body cleansing brush

There’s also no pressure to find a specific gift for each person. You can read about White Elephant rules here.

2. Secret Santa

My friends have this gift exchange every year with a $50 gift limit. Elfster makes is easy to set on up online. Each person customizes their wish list by putting their desired gifts with links included. You click into product page and can buy it online instantaneously. Friend shopping done.

3. DIY Gifts

I am not the most creative/artsy fartsy person, I draw like a kindergartener, and my penmanship is so bad I should’ve been a doctor. I turned to pinterest for simple DIY gift ideas and chocolate spoon making and glass painting seemed feasible to me. After struggling for a little bit came the following imperfect products (try not to laugh). Surely I could’ve bought these products already made, but it’s the thought that counts right? I made 16 spoons and painted 4 glass bottles. The total of these projects including supplies came out to $40.

Wilton Silicone Spoon Mold

HomEquip 16 oz. glass water bottles are out of stock, but a similar product from Amazon can be found here

I also used Decoart Rose Gold Metallic Paint
and Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer
. I actually bought the Mod Podge from Dollar Tree!

They look so ghetto, but it’s the thought that counts right?! Budgeting during the holidays is definitely a challenge, but we shouldn’t let it cut into our financial goals.

Millennial Challenge

  • How will you ball on a budget for Christmas gift giving next year?

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