When you’re trying to pay off debt, the last thing you should be doing is spending lots of money on presents. That might sound harsh (or even a bit mean), but the reality is that the more you spend money on things other than your debt, the longer you’ll be in debt for.
What you should be doing and what you want to do however, are two very different things. Maybe you just enjoy gift giving? Or at the very least, you probably feel obliged to reciprocate when someone gives a gift to you.
So is it possible to carry this on, but still save money on gifts? Yes, as long as you don’t mind being a little bit creative! You can give guilt free gifts – presents that won’t cost much money at all – and that you’ll have put some thought and effort into. Aren’t they the best kind of gifts anyway? Here are 5 low cost gifts that you won’t need to feel guilty about and the recipient will love.
1. Memory Book
This is an extremely low cost gift to give a special friend or family member. It’s simply a book of memories, written by you and detailing your recollections of special times you’ve spent with the person you’ll be giving the book to. Since you’ll mostly be giving your time instead of money for this gift, you could invest in a very nice notebook (for less than £10).
Handprints are special. A handprint captures a point in time and they are particularly remarkable, because your own handprint is unique to you. If you have children yourself, capture their handprints in a clay mould and paint it before giving as a gift to grandparents or other family members. You can even give your own handprint as a gift to your parents! There’s no rule that handprints can only be done by kids!
3. Photo Collage
Everyone loves photos. In today’s digital age, many people keep their photos stored on their mobile phone or computers, fully intending to get them printed out but never quite getting around to it. So why not make a photo collage? Take some time to sift through pictures of you and your friends or family, get them printed, stick them onto a backing and buy a nice frame!
4. Make something
You might not consider yourself as a crafty type of person, but the chances are that you can make something. Jams, chutneys, cakes, handmade soaps, candles, jewellery, scrapbooks and knitted or crocheted items can all be given as gifts. You can make most of these things at a relatively low cost, providing you shop around for materials first. You might just find yourself a new hobby in the process!
5. Go practical
Have you ever found yourself wondering what on earth you can buy your friends or family members that they haven’t already got (and that won’t break the bank either)? Why not opt for something practical and useful that you know they need instead, rather than spending money on generic and usually expensive gifts like perfume, aftershave, flowers, or jewellery? If you plan ahead properly, you can make a note of things that your recipients actually need but that they probably won’t get around to buying themselves. Maybe they need a new measuring spoon set for baking, or a pot clip to keep dirty spoons off the counter? These things are very cheap to buy and they make practical and useful presents that really will be used.
But utimately, the best gift to give is your time. Sounds cliché but it’s definitely true! Your friends and family will appreciate the time you spend with them, so you could arrange to visit them to catch up and have some inexpensive fun together. Spending time with the people you care about and actually making memories is far better than any material gift you could buy.