How to Avoid Overspending on Christmas Presents for Family

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Of course you want to give your family members special gifts for Christmas. Here's how to do it without overspending.

  • Christmas is a special time of year and you want to remember friends and family with special gifts. Unfortunately, if you have a large family it can be expensive to lavish your loved ones with costly presents. If money is tight, it's important to choose presents that won't break the budget and add to your debt burden for the upcoming year. Here are some suggestions for choosing family gifts for Christmas without overspending.

  • Plan your list before you hit the malls.

    The most important rule for not overspending is to plan your purchases before you leave home. Determine how much you can afford to spend and make a list of what you'll buy for each family member. Resolve to stick to the list. If you leave it open ended, you'll inevitably make additional impulse purchases with the justification that "It looks so much like Amy, I just had to get it".

  • Comparison shop before you go.

    Save sales brochures for all of the local stores where you shop. Spend time looking through them and doing some comparison shopping. Write down who has the best deals on the items you want to purchase. Do cost comparisons on the internet. Print out copies of the best prices you can find on items you plan to purchase for family gifts for Christmas. Take these with you to your local stores and ask if they can give you a similar price. Some stores are willing to match their competitor's prices.

  • Avoid using credit cards.

    One of the easiest ways to avoid the burden of being in debt after Christmas is to pledge not to spend what you don't have. Credit cards increase the temptation to buy more than you can comfortably afford. Instead of whipping out a credit card to buy family gifts for Christmas, force yourself to use only cash. If you have to count out each bill to pay for it, you're less likely to splurge on lavish and extraneous items.

  • Give the gift of time

    When it comes to family gifts for Christmas, one of the most special presents you can give is time. Instead of buying an expensive gift, give handmade certificates for services such as a home cooked gourmet meal, a complete house cleaning, a batch of chocolate chip cookies, or a day at the park. These gifts are often more meaningful than material goods.

  • Give something handmade

    Reassess your talents and put them to work to create family gifts for Christmas. Can you sew, make jewelry, paint, draw, or use a camera like a pro? With a little imagination, you can make gifts using any of these techniques. If you write, why not compose a personalized poem for someone in your family and frame it? This type of gift will be remembered long after the holidays are over. Do you cook, make soap, jams, or candy? These are all skills that are perfect for creating family gifts for Christmas. Sewing, knitting, and crocheting are other ways to turn your talents into Christmas gifts.

  • Lastly, remember the real meaning of Christmas. It isn't about the gifts but the spirit of togetherness. And that's something you can't buy.

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