Now that the biggest shopping season of the year is in full swing it might be a good time to create a holiday budget. I'm sure there are lots of names on your list, but hopefully you can find gifts that won't put a big dent in your pocketbook. I've come up with a few good ideas that might help.
Make your Own. Everybody loves a homemade gift. It means that you really put some time and thought into it. You can make your own bath salts, bubble bath, brownie mixes and more! Choose an inexpensive jar, add a ribbon and you've got a really cool gift that didn't cost a fortune. You can find the recipes to these homemade gifts here: Pioneerthinking.com And I've got some homemade stocking stuffer ideas here: money-saving-tips.blogspot.com
It's probably too late to start this idea for this holiday season but you can plan ahead for the next. After Christmas is one of the best times to buy gifts. Almost everything is marked down-sometimes as much as 50%. So create a list for next year and hit the shops after Christmas!
If you have a talent share it with others. You could give "gift certificates to those on your list. Do you play the piano? Offer free piano lessons. Are you good with kids? Offer free babysitting for a day. Are you well organized? Offer to clean someones house. Do you work on cars? Offer a free oil change. These gifts cost no money to give but could be some of the most well received gifts!
You could take the above option a step further buy using your services to barter for a gift. If your neighbor sells candles and you would love to get two or three for your sister-in-law maybe you could barter your services. Offer her a free night of babysitting. Or maybe there's a gift in your closet that you recieved last year that you got one too many of. Offer that to her in exchange for a candle.
Remember the holidays aren't about buying the most expensive gifts. They are about sharing traditions and making memories with those you love.
Shannon Jarvies is a WAHM with five beatiful children and a wonderful husband. Visit her Debt Management Website for debt consolidation, budgeting and money saving tips and ideas. You can also join her Money Management Discussion Group.