According to the latest report on holiday shopping, 56% of Americans won’t be able to buy as many gifts as they’d like this year due to inflation. Considering that 96% of Americans buy gifts for their families and spend an average of $1,000 each Christmas, it can dampen the holiday spirit.
According to Nerd Wallet, 27% of shoppers said they’ll probably go into more debt than usual to purchase holiday gifts this year, and 74% said they’ll use credit cards to shop. Many Americans say they’ll consider dipping into savings or using cash advance apps, personal loans, or payday loans this holiday season.
This year, Americans are leery about inflation and ongoing debts. To combat this, shoppers are taking a few steps to ensure they limit debt. While 58% plan to shop on Black Friday, 34% say they have a strict budget. Others plan to either buy fewer gifts or spend less money on those gifts.
Get Creative With Gifts
People love personalized gifts that go beyond standard purchases. This Christmas, get creative with gifts by exploring thrift stores, second-hand markets, and more. There may be great deals to gift directly, but older items can be refurbished into beautiful gifts.
“I buy 5×7 photo frames when I find them on sale, then I design a graphic that is personal to the recipient, or a collage of graphics of things that are personal reminders of our relationship,” says Beth Mueller from Pear Tree Kitchen. “It can be as simple as a saying that is an inside joke between friends. I print them on my home printer and put them into the frames. Of all the gifts I have given throughout the years, these have been the most treasured.”
Besides this, people can also make gifts to limit spending and be budget-friendly. Options include baked goods, candles, paintings, sketches, handmade mittens, scarves, gloves, dream catchers, etc.
Anna of Salt In My Coffee agrees. “As a single mom who loves gift-giving at Christmas, I turn to soap making and sewing to shower friends with love without breaking my budget. Everybody loves handmade soap, which feels luxurious, even if it is frugal. And I still get grateful comments about the cherry stone heating packs I gave the teachers at my children’s school last year.”
People can also turn their creativity into short-term side hustles and help others with creative, budget-friendly gifts. Not only does this bring in a little more money for Christmas, it also helps others stay within their budgets as they give lovely presents.
Give Experiences Over Things
About 36% of those surveyed said they’d rather have experiences with their loved ones than exchange gifts during the holiday season.
So, instead of buying expensive gifts, give loved ones a meaningful experience. Look into traveling together, eating at their favorite spot, taking a walking tour, baking their favorite dish, watching a movie, or going to a spa. It could also be as simple as spending a day with you.
“For a more budget-friendly Christmas, I have always gifted homemade treats,” says Tiffany McCauley with The Gracious Pantry. “Food gifts are always appreciated and can be made affordably for a while. As a massage therapist, I would also gift massages. You have to look at what you can do and go with that. People always appreciate it because the gifts are so personal.”
JayDee Vykoukal, founder of Mom Blog Life, agrees. “I have a family with four brothers, and we have always kept the holidays budget-friendly. When we were younger, there was never even an expectation that we had to get each other anything. As we’ve gotten married and have kids, I ask them to focus on experience-based gifts for my kids that require time spent together (what my kids want). This means a day at the park, movie, or zoo together — a much more meaningful gift that is budget-friendly.”
Use Apps To Track Gift Prices
Price tracking apps can be a great way to save money on holiday shopping, but using them wisely is essential. A few to check out are Camel Camel Camel, Honey and Keepa.
Once you find a few good deals, order multiple items or more than one of the same thing to give to different people. This saves delivery costs and helps you stay under budget.
“Sometimes, when I find a gift item on a deal, I order a few to give different people,” says Anika Jain of What Anika Says. “For example, last year, I saw a deal on coffee mugs, and I ordered five of them for all my friends. Usually, I would get different gifts for all, but this not only helped me get budget-friendly gifts but also saved a ton of my time.”
The last option is to reuse gifts that you already received. Regifting Christmas presents can be a smart way to save money and reduce waste, but it’s essential to do it tactfully.
Remember to give items that are new and useful.
With some planning and effort, you can still give meaningful gifts to your loved ones without breaking the bank.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.