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As a parent, it’s all too easy to get carried away at Christmas. With adverts promoting the latest, ‘must-have’ toys and computer games everywhere you turn, it’s not surprising that parents find it hard to say ‘no’.
To help keep you in the black this Christmas, we’ve put together some budget Christmas gift ideas and Christmas shopping hints and tips.
Make a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for and allocate a budget for each person. Not only does this help by making your present buying more organised, but (providing you stick to the budget) you’ll know in advance how much you’re spending in total.
For more expensive items, like computer game consoles, cameras, bikes and televisions, it’s worth checking prices online to see if you can buy it cheaper. Not only will it give your poor old feet a well-earned rest, but shopping online helps to stop you from getting carried away and spending more than you intended.
At Christmas, internet auction sites and free ads in your local paper can be a great way to pick up Christmas gifts at a fraction of their store price. It’s amazing how many second-hand products for sale are just like new. I’ve known some supposedly second-hand purchases to arrive in their original packaging and be completely untouched – probably unwanted gifts from a previous Christmas!
I’ve never been organised enough to take advantage of the January sales to stock up on Christmas gifts for the following year. Actually, if I’m being honest, I’m completely fed up with shopping by the time the January sales arrive! But if you can face the hustle and bustle of the sales then it’s a great time to grab some real gift bargains.
That said, you don’t even have to wait until January to bag a bargain. Most large stores – especially department stores – have three-day and one-day sales extravaganzas with savings of 25% and more in some cases.
It all helps to make your Christmas budget stretch that little bit further.
Starting your Christmas shopping early also means that you’ll be far more organised, less stressed and unlikely to overspend on last minute panic buys.
Spending time on a gift, rather than money, is another option if you really have to rein in your spending this year. Photographs make fantastic gifts for parents and grandparents. It doesn’t cost that much to have your cute snap of the kids blown up and framed or printed onto canvass.
If you’re blessed with creative talents, then why not make you’re own gifts? Budding artists or poets can turn their latest piece of work into a coveted gift by presenting their picture or poem signed, framed and ready to hang.
Creative cooks could make Christmas cakes or other festive foods to present as a timely, and no doubt welcome, gift on Christmas day.
You could even give your time as the gift. Busy mums and dads might appreciate a cleaning voucher, where you promise to come in and clean their house once a week for a month (hint anyone!). You could offer similar vouchers for ironing, gardening or even babysitting.
With children, it’s always better to be as honest as possible, as early as possible. If Father Christmas just can’t afford the latest games console this year, then let them know. Suggest something he can afford or an alternative.
However if you really don’t want to disappoint, you could ask other family members to contribute towards the gift. After all, it’s better to get them one gift that they will appreciate and play with, than a dozen that end up in the back of a cupboard.
For more gifts for kids that won't break the bank, check out our Top 10 Irresistible Budget Gifts for Kids article.
Finally, take care with credit. It’s all too tempting to pay with credit cards and worry about it later. But it’s surprising how soon ‘later’ arrives – along with a great big bill.
Whatever gifts you buy this Christmas, remember it’s the thought that counts. Until next year, we’d like to wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and happy New Year.
Make buying a gift enjoyable with the Big Fat Balloons Online School of Gift Buying and learn about:
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