Gift-buying and gift-giving should be happy experiences. They should fill you with a sense of goodwill. Usually, however, shopping for gifts fills me with a sense of dread about staying in budget and finding the “perfect” gift. Here are a few of my rules when it comes to finding presents for people.
Set a budget and stick to it. I keep a list of generic dollar amounts that I plan to spend on various recipients. For example: $10 on the children’s friend’s birthday gifts, $100 on my children’s Christmas gifts, etc.
Keep a list. I know you are probably really surprised by this one (wink, wink), but a list is one of the best tools ever invented for helping to keep one on track and not overspend. It also provides guidance and goals.
Don’t procrastinate. I get so stressed out when I wait until the last minute to find a gift for someone. I usually end up spending more money than I would have normally as well.
Stockpile a little. This year, times are tough, but when I got out all of the presents I had bought for my family over the past year, I realized I had everything I needed. I always buy toys on sale to give throughout the year for my children’s friends birthdays.
Don’t try to impress. Sure, you want the recipient to be happy with the gift, but to worry about what the other people at the party might think of your gift is going a little too far. Your gift should be a token of your love and friendship, not a symbol of how awesome you are.
What helps to keep you real when buying and giving gifts? What rules mean the most to you?
Members to ListPlanIt will find the lists they need to prepare gift lists, holiday budgets, holiday meals and parties, and more in Holidays & Occasions. Not yet a member? Join today and get organized for the holidays and the new year.