December 9, 2019
  • 11:35 am How to Cut the Costs of Gift Giving
  • 11:34 am Tips to Manage at Times of Financial Uncertainty

Many of us like to give gifts. It can bring great pleasure to people if you give them something and seeing them happy can also give you pleasure too. We also live in a society where there is pressure on us to buy gifts for lots of people for all sorts of different reasons. This is not just Christmas or birthdays but also for teachers, nurses, anniversaries, thank you’s and get well. This can mean that we often feel that we need to be finding the money to buy a gift and/or card for people to show them how much we appreciate them. Although thanking people is really important, it can put a big strain on our budget. There are ways that we can help this situation though.

Cut down how many gifts we buy

It is important to always think about whether it is really necessary to buy the gifts we buy. Think about why we are buying them. Is it possible that we are buying them because it makes us feel good to give them? Is it because we feel we have to because that is what society dictates? Is it because we feel we have to because other people do and we need to compete with them? Is it because we want people to like us? There are lots of reasons why and these could be some of the reason or you could have completely different ones. Sometimes we just feel we have to do something hen it is causing us financial problems. Therefore, think about whether it is really necessary to buy everything that we are buying. You need to think about the financial consequences and whether the recipient really needs all of the gifts that you are considering giving them.

If you still want to give gifts then maybe give less per person if you are inclined to give several. Research has even shown that people remember the gifts they are given if they have just one rather than if they have lots.

It is also very important to remember the feelings of the recipient. If they are struggling financially, do not like shopping or find it hard to know what to buy or have mobility issues so cannot get to the shops and do not shop online, then they may just feel embarrassed when they receive a gift. They may worry that they cannot reciprocate and they may feel guilty. Also if the recipient knows that you are struggling financially they may prefer it if you do not buy them a gift.

Spend less on those gifts

If you want to continue buying gifts then spending less on them could be an option. See whether you can find cheaper things to buy, perhaps looking at second hand items or just in cheaper shops. Sometimes looking in sales and getting gifts in advance can also help. Try hard though, if you do buy something in advance that you are not tempted to buy something else later. Once we buy a gift, we can often see something that we feel might be better and so buy that as well. Also, it can sometimes be easy to lose the gifts we buy and so have to buy more. Make sure you know where you have put them!

Consider a card instead

It could be that the person will appreciate a card as much as a gift. They may just like to have a message to show how much they are appreciated and not have any need for a gift. Perhaps even having you visit them or telephone them might be enough and they may even prefer that as they get to see or talk to you and may not be worried about getting a gift.

Cut down on wrapping

Sometimes it can be the wrapping of the gift that is the expensive part. It can often cost more to wrap something than it can to buy it with the paper, gift tag, ribbons, box or bag. One way around this is to carefully reuse paper from gifts that you have been given. Also, you can look for wrapping when it is on sale. It can sometimes be cheaper to wrap in tissue paper or craft paper and gifts can look just as pretty and the paper is often recyclable which most gift wrapping is not. Some people even manage to make gifts wrapped in newspaper look really pretty. You could use string instead of ribbon if it is cheaper and then the recipient can reuse it in their home. Consider gathering pine cones, holly leaves and similar things to decorate gifts with so there is no need for buying this sort of thing. There are plenty of ideas online as to how you can decorate gifts in a pretty way without having to spend a fortune.

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When you are undergoing a time of financial uncertainty, whether personally or because the country is in a time of economic uncertainty, you may wonder how you will manage your finances. It can be a tricky time but there are things that might help you.

Get a loan

The first option that many people will consider is to get a loan from somewhere like Cobra. These tend to be available to most people and they can be a good way to help you through a tight spot. It is important to be careful with them though. Obviously, you will need to repay the loan and you will need to make sure that this is something that you will be able to cope with. It is very wise to find out how much the repayments will be and then look at your financial situation to see whether you will be able to cope with them. Borrowing the money can be very easy but if the financial situation does not improve quickly then repaying it may be tricky. If you pick the right type of loan, then you will cope better. For example, you might be better off using a credit card where you will only have to repay a very small amount each month and can choose when to pay off the rest. Think about what you need and what will work in your personal situation.

Earn more money

If you can earn more then you will have more money to play with. This means that if you feel you will be losing out on income elsewhere or that things will get more expensive then you will not need to worry so much. There are lots of things that you could try. Some things earn just small amounts such as selling things you own or doing online surveys. However, there are things that you can do which will bring in larger amounts if you have the time. You could get a second job working evenings or weekends to bring in quite a bit more money. You might be able to work longer hours in the job you have or see if you can get a promotion or pay rise to get more money. It might be worth looking for an alternative job which pays more money. If there are several adults in your household then you could encourage them all to do this and this will help considerably.

Spend less money

If you cannot work more, then spending less money could be the only way that you can manage better. This can be tricky but if you compare the prices on everything that you buy then you could find that you will be able to reduce what you are spending quite considerably. This will only help to some extent though and cutting own the amount of things that you are buying will also help you. This is something that will be tricky but can make quite a difference. If you are already living very frugally then maybe it may not be such a good option for you, but it is always wise to have a good look over what you are spending periodically as there may be things you can change as prices change over time.

Be positive

It can be easy to get in a panic in this sort of situation and when we are in a state of panic and stress we do not make clear decisions. Our brain is not working well and we can make mistakes. The stress could also make us ill which may mean that we cannot work and earn the money that we need. Therefore, trying to think positively about the future will help a lot more. You will be far less likely to panic and more able to think of solutions that will help you. If we think positively, we are more likely to see and take advantages of opportunities that come our way. This could really help us to perhaps spend less, find a better paid job or see opportunities to spend less money.

Getting family involved

It can be much easier doing these things if your family is on board. Your household is the most important as they are the ones that can help you the most, although other family members might be able to offer your support and to understand when you perhaps are unable to go with them out to family meals or holidays when it is too expensive or if you cannot afford to buy them gifts. Those in your household could be asked to help to contribute income or to try to reduce their spending to help with the problem as well. It can be tricky but if you all do a few things then it will really help you. Making sure they are aware of the situation and what you are trying to achieve should help them to understand and to be more willing to help you out.

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