The holidays can be an expensive time of year. Between trying to please everyone and buying for everyone, your finances may suffer.

Here are 6 tips to make the gift buying season easier for your wallet and your stress level.

  1. Make a list and stick to it. Make a list of all the people you need to buy for this year, set a spending limit for each gift, and then follow it! It is never too early to start a list of gift ideas—keep track of potential gifts they’ve mentioned or items you have seen that may make a good gift for them.
  2. Use credit card rewards. Many personal credit cards offer cash back or gift cards to different retailers; why not use those cards to purchase gifts for others?
  3. Consider a homemade gift. Our holiday shopping list can get long with co-workers, teachers, our long-lost Aunt Linda, etc., and our budget may start to look a little thin. Instead of purchasing gifts, make a big batch of homemade goodies. This will show them that you care while not breaking the bank.
  4. Do gift name draws. Nothing is more stressful than having to buy for everyone in a large family, a group of friends, or an office event. Suggesting everyone draws a name for someone to buy for, might help alleviate the stress on your shopping list. And others may appreciate it as well!
  5. Begin shopping earlier. Instead of rushing around all of December shopping for gifts, consider starting in September or October. This will allow you to spread out the money you spend over time, you might be able to score some great deals before the holidays, and it will be easier to find those specific popular items you are looking for.
  6. Start saving for next year! Start saving in January for next year’s gifts. Consider setting up a separate bank account for your holiday savings. If you normally spend $1,000 on gifts, you can start saving $100 per month and have plenty of funds come November.



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