The Christmas season is one of the most awaited seasons in the country. Being the only predominantly Catholic nation in Southeast Asia, Christmas is widely celebrated all over the Philippines. Having said that, people spend tons of money during this season on gifts. Personally, I used to allot my entire 13th Month bonus for gifts. As the years go by, I learned how to continue giving gifts without breaking the bank. I’m writing this article for you guys to help you save money on gifts.
Here are 10 tips on how to save money on gifts:
Create a Budget
When it comes to saving money and avoiding overspending, budget is everything. Start by creating a list of people that you intend to give gifts to.
Afterward, identify the amount of money that you intend to spend on money on gifts. For example, if you intend to give gifts to 20 people this Christmas and your budget is P10,000 then just divide P10,000 by 20. And that will amount to P500 per gift.
Feel free to adjust the numbers of course. The key thing to remember is you have to follow the budget that you have set to avoid overspending.
Identify Gift Options
Given the same example above, if you are going to give gifts to 20 people then I suggest that you list down possible gift options/ideas. I usually ask them what they want and include that in the list. This will help me avoid overspending especially if the item that you have in mind is not available in stores anymore.
Receiver 1: Mom
Gift Ideas: Wallet, Blouse, Pants
Prior to using a list of gift options, I tend to buy whatever I see in malls when my preferred gift item is not available anymore. Having a list of options helps me stay on track with my budget.
Aside from using a list, I also buy gifts as early as I could to avoid the holiday rush. The holiday rush often causes panic buying and shopping frenzy which often leads to overspending. And also, if you buy early, you can take advantage of massive sales and discounts that are being given during the shopping off-peak seasons.
If you don’t have that much budget and if you’re a creative person, then consider creating gift items yourself. There are tons of video tutorials on Youtube on how to create a variety of items. Some of the tutorials that I have seen include, creating women’s accessories such as earrings and bracelets, making scented candles, beaded bags, etc.
Shopping online could help you save money because you will get to avoid the shopping frenzy at malls. One of my favorite shopping apps is Shopee because there are tons of available vouchers that help me save money. You can take advantage of discount vouchers and free shipping vouchers if you shop using the Shopee app.
If you shop online, you will also get to avoid spending money on transportation to go to shopping malls. You will also save a lot of time because you won’t have to endure the worsening traffic in the city and the long queue at the cashiers.
Use Recycled Gift Wrappers
Over the years, I have learned to keep gift bags, paper bags, and gift wrappers from the gifts that I have received and I often reuse those when I give gifts to others.
You get tons of benefits by reusing gift wrappers. You get to help minimize the garbage that ends up in landfills and you also get to save money by doing so.
Send Handwritten and Handmade Gift Cards
This is one of the least expensive ways to show people how much you love and appreciate them. I am not very vocal in expressing how much I appreciate the people around me and writing letters help me express my feelings toward my friends and family.
Sell Unused Items and Use the Money to Buy Gifts
I have received a handful of gifts that I always end up not using and they’re still in their original packaging. Instead of having them collect dust over the years, I usually give them away as gifts or I sell them online.
Use Shopback or Cash Back Apps
To maximize your savings, use Shopback or Cash Back app when buying online. Although the savings is very minimal, it’s still money saved. I always believed in an old saying that money saved is money earned.
Use Cash Back or Rewards Credit Cards
Depending on your rewards preference, use your credit cards when buying gifts to earn cash backs or redeemable points. Just make sure that you only charge the amount of money that you can pay in full when the due date comes. And also, still follow your budget even if you’re using your credit cards.
I personally use my Citibank Citi Premier Miles Credit Card in buying gifts because my priority is to earn redeemable miles.
If you have the tendency to overspend, then I suggest that you use cash instead.
Aside from giving gifts, you can also give them your time. Since there are so many holidays during December and it’s also usually the off-peak season at work, I often use this month to meet and reconnect with old friends and relatives. More than the gifts, people really appreciate the time you spend with them.
But since we are currently experiencing a pandemic right now, you may opt to meet your friends virtually instead. Schedule a video call or a Zoom party meeting so you can still reconnect with your friends without going out of your homes.
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How about you? Do you have any tips and suggestions on how to save money on gifts?