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.