This is the season to be jolly and to be merry. Yet this season is more likely to leave our favorite pockets - empty! The cold climate seems to invite us to be more generous and shop for gifts for our dearest loved ones. However, after the season ends, all the joy and generosity fade away. And here come the credit card bills and shortages caused by last season's generosity. Is there any way you can avoid spending too much this season? Can you still be generous yet practical? Of course you can! Here are some tips on how to budget your most precious spending while giving your loved ones their well-deserved gifts this season.
Make a list. This is crucial since you can still have sufficient time to think of how much you'll spend, what to buy, where to buy and evaluate what is important and what is not. Sometimes people that don't care to make a list while shopping for gifts end up not choosing the right gifts, forgetting some essential things to buy or spending too much. So, to conserve your time, strength and most of all your money....make a list before going to the mall.
Stick to your list. This means that you shouldn't buy things that weren't listed. (What's the sense of the list if you won't follow it, right?) You made it yourself anyway. This will test your self-control, so gird yourself!
Personalize your gifts. Now, you already bought your gifts, so what's next? Next, is to give a personal touch to your gifts. Either you put some added touch of your artistic side (like drawing) or putting beads onto a plain shirt. However, if you are not that artistic, you can still put some simple personal touches onto your gifts, like instead of wrapping it with some expensive gift wrapper, why not do it using some old fabric or old gift wrappers? That'll help. On the other hand, try wrapping your gift with an artistic paper and fill it up with your cut-out pictures, your written message to your loved ones or your very own kiss marks--it's up to you. In this way, you can show your hidden and not-so-hidden talents to the most special people in your life. (By personalizing your gifts, you make your loved ones feel how much you love them. Personal touch, good looking or not, truly warms every receiver's heart. It's not the price or the gift that truly matters anyway; it's the thought that goes with it.)
Give priceless gifts. Not all gifts have a price tag. Why not give your younger sister the old dress of yours that she had been eyeing for years? Why not take advantage of your vacation leave and visit your old parents at home? Or let your children enjoy their dream vacation. Or an intimate date with your boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife. Cook their favorite meal, bond with them or have an open forum with each of them. Surely, this non-material thing means more to them than expensive gifts.
December isn't the only month in a year. Therefore, don't let generosity just visit you every December. Give on January, February and so on. Not just material things but emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, financially and socially as well. Though, being a giver requires a lot of things, you need to consider yourself, too. Know your limits. Treat yourself once in a while. Be good to others without forsaking yourself. Be a blessing to others.
So that's it! I hope that these tips will be beneficial to you as they have been to me. Have a happy holiday!