Christmas means different things to different people. To others it is a season of giving and receiving, a season of thanks giving and meditation, a season for writing new year’s resolutions and to others it is a wonderful time of the year when we show compassion. In corporate world, it is a season to push sales. meaning that a lot of people will depart with cash as they get gifts and presents to their friend and families but what if you gift smart this season?

Here are my tips for smart gifting this festive time:

Gift Budget

This should be your number one priority. Write down how much you want to spend on gifts then split it into individuals. How much do you want to spend on each and every member of your family? Coming up with a budget will give you a big picture of how much you have, how much you need for the following month and how much you need to spend.

Gift Amount to Revenue Ratio

If you are going to get a gift with high depreciating value, like a car, then consider spending less than a quarter of your annual revenue on it. So if you earn an annual salary of $100,000.00 you should keep your depreciating gift below $25,000.00. and if you are earning half of that, you should keep your gifts below $12,000.00. It is good to figure out what percentage you can comfortably afford without living on your credit card come New Year.

Group Gifting

This works best if you have a family. Instead of buying individual gifts to everyone, consider buying one thing that all family members can use. Something like a toaster goes for about 50 dollars or a 100 dollar gift card to a restaurant or local store around you. This family wide gifts always turn out to be cheaper in the long run yet appreciated by everybody. The goal is to know that there is life after the festive season.

Host Family Gatherings

If you have a warm cozy house and good at preparing big meals, you can cater to your family in exchange of gifts. Hosting big parties can sometime turn to be cheap if you know where to put your dollar.

When spending this season, know that 2017 comes with its own financial challenges and it is good to plan ahead. Remember not to be stingy, give but give wisely.

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