MoneyMoments | MidFirst Bank
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Gift Giving on a Budget

Sometimes it seems like a celebration requiring a gift occurs every month! Gift giving for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays, weddings, etc. can strain anyone’s budget. However, it doesn’t require much money to make your friend or loved one feel special.

Plan Ahead. Sometimes the pressure of this single day forces you to rush out and buy the latest gadget, which may not be in your budget. Put upcoming occasions on your calendar. Set a reminder several weeks in advance so you have time to shop for the perfect gift within your budget.

Listen. Now that you’re aware of upcoming gift-giving occasions, you have time to listen to what the gift receiver wants. What would make their day? What would they love to have but don’t buy for themselves? Truly listening during conversations can clue you in to the perfect gift. Depending on your budget, a massage gift card or aromatherapy candle lets the mother of a 2-year-old know you understand her stress. A car wash gift card tells a new car owner that you heard the excitement in his voice when he told you about it.

Give Your Time or Expertise. Some of the best gifts are free! Perhaps your friend longs for a date night but always has trouble finding a sitter. One night of free babysitting costs you nothing and means the world to a young parent. Give the gift of your automotive skills to that friend who is worried about a funny noise his car is making. Give a cooking lesson to your friend who is tired of eating out. Make the gift official by creating a homemade coupon for your service and wrap it up!

Support Hobbies and Interests. Regardless of a person’s hobbies or interests, there are many options for gifts within your price range. Do they love “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter” or the color orange? You can easily find inexpensive gifts with a particular theme.

Hobbies are another great angle for gifts. Hobbies can be expensive, with endless needed supplies. Running is a perfect example. A basket of energy gels, hydration multipliers and other small training needs would be gold in their eyes.

Personalize Wedding Gifts. Couples will remember a thoughtfully selected wedding gift long after their first anniversary, regardless of its value. Find a gift that represents something they have in common. Do they both love watching Monday Night Football or Netflix? Create a “Date Night In” box, complete with a heated blanket throw and snacks. Presentation is everything! An inexpensive set of pasta bowls can become a unique gift when placed in a basket with a recipe and all of the ingredients to make your favorite pasta dish.

Rely on Gift Cards. Are you stumped on choosing a gift? Some believe gift cards are impersonal, but most won’t agree. Gift card receivers love the option of choosing a gift based on their needs or wants. Pick a store you know they love or one with a large variety of items. Ensure the gift card appears thoughtful, rather than last minute, by placing it in a gift bag with candy or other small items.

Planning and sticking to a budget will reduce the stress of gift giving and will keep you on the path toward your financial goals. Remember, the most important part of any occasion is your presence, not your presents.

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