The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Christmas – it’s the best time of year but it can also be the most expensive time of the year. If you are anything like me, I was raised with the belief that Christmas is not about the money, but instead about the spirit of giving. Now that’s all fine and dandy but not when you are barely scraping by enough to get by on a regular basis.
Something I have started to do in order to help with this problem is – exchange with people who you know will exchange back. That means, talk to people beforehand and find out if you can expect a gift back (and if not don’t go out of your way).
Now I know this can sound a bit selfish but it’s not, I promise. Using this method helps with budgeting for your other friends’ and family members’ gifts, while also weeding out the people in your life who may not deserve a gift from you in the first place (sorry, not sorry).
When it comes to giving gifts to your parents – ask them if they really want something. In most cases, your parents will tell you not to waste your money on them (this is the case with my mom). And this helps a lot because 1) she is so hard to shop for and 2) it opens up more money for other gifts.
When it comes to your significant other – create some ground rules for gift buying. This year, my boyfriend and I decided that none of the gifts can go over $100. Right there that cuts out shoes because let me tell you – guy shoes are EXPENSIVE. So instead he is getting a lot more smaller gifts and that is okay.
You can also create a rule like this for if you are exchanging gifts with your friends. Create a price limit of $25, especially if it is going to be a big group of you exchanging. This also brings up the idea of the White Elephant game. Everyone in the group brings one gift no more than $25 and people can decide to steal the gifts or keep the one they picked based off of the number they chose.
All of these suggestions are good and fun ways to exchange gifts with people, while still making sure you have money to spend on yourself or bills or other essentials that will creep up on you after the holidays.