The opportunity to give a special gift to someone brings so much joy. You feel good on the inside when you pick a gift that a person needs or likes. The process of buying gifts that bring such joy to the giver and recipient can be overwhelming. If you are like many people who look for the best and most memorable gifts, buying a gift can take you weeks. Making a final decision comes after visiting many gift shops.
When you want to go beyond expectations with a gift, you are tempted to spend more than you can afford. The fact that a birthday, graduation, wedding, anniversary, or baby shower comes once in a year may push you to exceed your budget. You feel good while giving the gift then deal with the guilt and inconvenience of spending more than you afford.
You can give sentimental, memorable, and thoughtful gifts on every occasion within your budget with these easy tips.
1. Prepare a budget
You cannot determine if you exceeded your budget or not if you did not start with one. You will only realize the deficit when you cannot buy other important items or pay bills after giving all the gifts. Do not prepare a budget for one gift or occasion. List the upcoming events in a year or quarter of a year. Allocate a budget for each gift or occasion. Discipline is necessary to stick to the budget no matter what you find in the market. The budget should help you narrow down your options to only the gifts within your budget.
2. Start early
One of the reasons why you are likely to over-spend when buying gifts is shopping at the last minute. You need time to compare different options in the market and prices as well. Starting early also saves you on delivery costs. If you shop on the day of the occasion, you will have to pay for a fast delivery, which is often higher than normal delivery costs. In addition, when you start shopping early, you come across gift shops that offer occasion discounts and promo codes. Using the list you create in the first step, you can pick the right time to shop during the year for gifts. It is okay to buy gifts early and keep them until the event comes.
3. Consider re-gifting options
If you are fond of giving gifts, you probably have received many of them. It is normal to have many unused gifts in your house. You loved them but you have never used them. Do not shy away from re-gifting them to another person who actually needs them. We do not mean that you pick the gifts that you did not like or appreciate. You still want to give memorable gifts while saving money. If it is a perfect fit for the recipient’s lifestyle, styles, and needs, repackage it and give it as a new gift.
4. Visit thrift stores
We understand the hesitation to visit thrift stores when shopping for gifts. However, the idea might be better than looking for expensive gifts. For instance, new luxury watches are very expensive. You may find the same model in perfect condition in a thrift store. In addition, some décor and art items can be repackaged from a thrift store and fit perfectly into the recipient’s home. Here is the truth. You never indicate the source of your gift. If you are good at buying gifts, you will pick an item that is barely used and present it as new.
5. Pay in cash
You cannot escape the reality that you are overspending when you pay in cash. A debit or credit cash shields you from that reality. Many people do not check the receipts and statements of their accounts until the end of the month. Since you have a budget, withdraw cash just enough for that gift before you visit the gift shop. Leave your cards at home or in the car just in case you are tempted to pick something beyond your budget. Paying in cash may also force you to go to a physical store or pay via mobile cash when shopping online. Whatever the case, account for the extra costs such as transfer charges, transport, or delivery charges.
6. Manage your emotions
We must admit that this is a hard one for many buyers, especially when buying romantic gifts. Well, gifts bring up all kinds of emotions. You start thinking about how much the person means to you. The gifting process will also bring back old memories of your relationship with the person. For instance, buying graduation gifts for your son or daughter will remind you of the long journey of taking him or her to school. Anniversary gifts remind you of your love and commitment to your partner. Such emotions should not guide your decision. If you feel like the gift does not express your feelings fully, put them in a simple card and attach it to the gift.
7. Shop online
Window shopping often leads to impulse buying. Gift shops display items to attract customers to pick the items. You may walk into a shop for one gift and buy things you have never thought of before. Shopping online gives you a visual of the amount and number of items you are about to spend money on before checking out of the store. You can go back and deselect unwanted items to stay within your budget. You can also redeem promo codes when shopping online.
Handmade items make perfect gifts. The recipients may appreciate the DIY gifts more than other gifts because you invested your thoughts, time, efforts, and love into the creation process. If you are good at the craft, you may make something better than the gift shop. Think about it. Gift shops sell items that other people like you design for sale. Hence, it should not feel weird to give or receive such gifts.
You can stay within your budget when buying gifts whether working with a low or high budget. Eventually, you will pass on the tradition to all types of shopping. You will master the discipline and have a healthy financial life.