4 Gifts to Give This Season

4 Gifts to Give This Season

Written by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated December 5, 2016

We’re all about saving money during the holidays and we don’t mean saving money by getting a deal on really expensive television you don’t need. We mean, planning to spend less by buying less. The holidays are often about indulging in every way, eating more, drinking more, and spending more. We throw caution to the wind and say yes to parties, gift giving, and let’s be honest, way more cookies than necessary. And while we understand that no one wants to be a Scrooge, there are ways to cut back on the spending while still keep the festive cheer at an all time high.

Here are 4 free (or guilt-free) gifts you can give this holiday season that won’t automatically turn you into the Grinch who stole the Christmas cheer.

The Gift of Stress-Free Shopping

Lots of families and groups of friends love the tradition of gift giving (who doesn’t though, giving a thoughtful gift to someone you love is a great feeling). So if you aren’t able to convince everyone you know (or yourself for that matter) to give up gifts, at least you can give the gift of stress-free shopping. Tell the people you love what you want, or at the very least, provide a general idea of something you’d like to receive this holiday season.

If you feel uncomfortable about providing a detailed list to certain people in your life, consider starting the gift giving conversation like this: “I know the holiday season can be very stressful, especially when it comes to gift giving. So I just thought that I would help you out and say that I would really love a _____ this year.” Insert whatever item you would like this year, bonus points for making it a practical, inexpensive, and easy to find gift. You’re not helping anyone out by asking for a limited edition, super expensive, hard to find item.

Learn how to stick to your holiday budget this year.

The Gift of Time                

We can guarantee you that there are at least a few people on your list this year that would love to spend some time with you instead of receiving another gift that they might not need or want. Your grandparents, an aunt or uncle who you might not get to see that often during the year, a sibling, or even your parents. Hanging out at home and chatting is a great free idea or heading to the movies to reinstate an old tradition is another good idea. If you can or want to spend a bit more money, decide on something that the person whose gift this is, has always wanted to do or something that the two of you have always said you wanted to do together.

Obviously, this might not work out for everyone on your list. But if you can spend some quality time with a few of your friends or family members then we definitely suggest that you do.

Looking to get your finances in check before the New Year? Click here.

The Gift of Giving

This option isn’t free but it’s definitely guilt free. If you’re having trouble coming up with gift ideas for yourself or your friends and family members, consider asking for a donation to be made on your behalf or make a donation on behalf of someone. This is a great idea for those who already have everything they need or for anyone who is looking to cut back this year. Any donation, small or large, will help whatever charity is chosen, relieve the stress of coming up with gift ideas, and remind all those involved that the holidays are about more than just gifts.

Holiday Help: Avoiding End-of-the-Year Debt, read here.

The Gift of a Debt Free Holiday

This could be a gift you give to your loved ones by suggesting a spending limit, recommending a gift exchange, or even by asking that no one purchase you a gift this year. But, we think that this is probably the best gift you could give yourself. Ending the year with a serious or even a small amount of debt is no fun.

Often the first few months of the year can be expensive, winter tires, extra heating costs, snow removal, and potential other winter related unexpected costs (click here for 7 ways to save money this winter). Trying to deal with these, plus holiday debt, can and will be stressful. Reducing your holiday debt by as much as possible, if not completely will do wonders for your finances.

Caitlin is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University and has been working in the personal finance industry for over eight years. She believes that education and knowledge are the two most important factors in the creation of healthy financial habits. She also believes that openly discussing money and credit, and the responsibilities that come with them can lead to better decisions and a greater sense of financial security. One of the main ways she’s built good financial habits is by budgeting and tracking her spending through the YNAB budgeting app. She also automates her savings so she never forgets to put aside a portion of her income into her TFSA. She believes investing and passive income is key to earning financial freedom. She also uses her Aeroplan TD credit card to collect Aeroplan points so that she can save money when she travels.

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