Christmas season is upon us and with less than 100 days to go, itís really time to start shopping for Christmas gifts! Whether it be for your family, friends, mga inaanak, officemates, or your annual contribution to your favorite charity, you can still make it the most wonderful time of the year even on a minimal budget.
†Here are 5 tips to help you save on gifts this holiday season:
1.†Plan your Christmas budget
Itís best to set a budget for your Christmas gift shopping. Set a limit on the amount you can only spend on Christmas gifts. To make things easier, set a specific amount for each person that is on your list. For example, for pamangkins, P30-50 each, for officemates, P100-150.
As much as possible, pay cash so you wonít get surprised by your credit card bill come the start of the new year. Challenge yourself to spending below your set limits and feel good about yourself afterwards!
2. Make a list
Just like Santa Claus, making a list is a must! Making a list helps you get an overview of the people you need to buy presents for. Group the people on your list according to their affiliation- family, friends, officemates, others. You can also make a subgroup for each- kids, inaanaks, cousins, teammates. This will make it also easy for you to have a grasp of how much budget you need for each person or group.
Some people have digital files of their lists that they update yearly so they donít start all over again every year. These lists can be saved on your phone for easy access anywhere.
3. Get a headstart
To make more space in your budget, you can start as early as September when buying Christmas gifts. Malls usually hold sales during October and this is the best time to shop cheaper. Take advantage of these sales. Or, if you happen to be the type who strays into bazaars or tiangges, be on the lookout for cheap but gifty items.
If you go on vacations during the summer, scout for lovely souvenir items such as native purses, trinkets, or souvenir shirts that can be given as presents come Christmas time. By December, most of your Christmas list may have already been accounted for.
4. Explore your options
You donít always have to go to the mall to get presents for your loved ones. Going to the mall means spending on fare or gas, parking fees, and on food afterwards. Nowadays, there are so many online sellers to choose from, just make sure theyíre trustworty.
Or, go local! Consider the kapitbahay that bakes awesome cakes and cookies. You can also make your own gifts! Ask the kids to paint or draw Christmas cards for you on heavy stock paper, or make your own desserts like leche flan and ube. For gift wrappers, consider using recycled materials. Be creative!
5. Be focused- remember the reason for the season!
Christmas time is the season of joy, peace, and hope. Itís the time for family and friends to get together, and be renewed spiritually in your chosen faith. Itís not about who gets to give the more fabulous presents or spoiling our children.
Instead of big presents, consider a trip with the family to somewhere special, or be involved with activities for the less fortunate. Instead of cash, give your gifts in kind. As they say, the best gift you can give is your time.
Itís the thought that counts, and however big or small the package may be, whatís important is that youíve taken special time and effort to remember the special people in your life this holiday season.