Estimated Monthly Savings: $75
Gifts are an unavoidable expense – even if you only give to your closest family and friends, holiday and birthday gifts definitely add up. It can be hard to find meaningful gifts, year after year, that don’t break the bank. Does Grandma really need another picture frame? Will your kids appreciate yet another plastic toy?
Yet giving – and receiving – thoughtful gifts is so rewarding. You can save money on gift giving by giving your time instead, either by making DIY gifts or planning a fun activity. It’s a cliche, but the thought really does count – your loved ones will appreciate the time you put into making or planning a gift. Here are some ideas for affordable gifts that will really mean something:
-The DIY Route: Exercise your crafty skills to make a gift with a personal touch. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration, and craft blogs and online videos can help guide your project. Just be sure your DIY gift is within your skill set – if you’ve never knit a single stitch, it’s best not to plan to make an elaborate shawl as a gift. Bonus money-saving tip: try searching garage sales and thrift stores to find cheaper craft supplies.
-The Gift of Time: You might have given “coupon books” to your parents as a kid. Gifts like that can still be a great idea now, if you can think of something the recipient really needs. Maybe your grandparents could use help going to the grocery store (they’d probably love the extra time with you, too). Or your busy friend with kids would love a few hours of free babysitting. If you put thought into these kinds of gifts, the recipients will be really appreciative.
-Experiences: Creating memories with your loved ones can make for a much better – and cheaper – gift than a purchased product. Plan a fun, meaningful activity that lets you spend quality time with the recipient. A day hike with your outdoor-loving aunt, a trip to a museum with your dad, a special movie night with your kids. Make sure to get a photo of the experience, which you can print out for another affordable gift later.
These are just a few of the ways you can use your time instead of money to give gifts that stand out. For more money-saving tips, follow our blog.