5 ways to save money while gift-shopping this year

Let's face it. The holidays can be a stressful time of the year.

There's no need to list all the reasons why, but we all know that behind the happy smiles, the eggnog, cookies and endless mugs of hot chocolate, there are some serious moments of panic.

Probably the biggest worry involves gifts. Did you already get a silicon spatula set for your dad? Is it tasteless to get everyone a gift card? Can you just give your nieces and nephews a lump of coal and tell them they gotta try to behave a little better next year?

While we can’t answer all the questions involved in buying presents, we can help alleviate some of the anxiety with the following five tips to help you save during the gift-buying rush this year.

  1. Set a budget

If you have a list of people to buy gifts for, take the time put a limit on what you will spend on each (for example, you’ll probably want to spend more on your spouse than a coworker).

One effective budgeting strategy is to talk with your siblings, parents and other family members and agree on a spending limit.

  1. Pool your gifts

Instead of buying everyone in your family a gift, set up a gift exchange where everyone buys one gift and receives one gift. You can do a "Secret Santa" exchange, or, at your family’s holiday gathering, set up a game where everyone brings a wrapped gift then draws to see which one they open. This method is a huge money saver and is especially helpful if you have a large family.

  1. Cut back

But holidays are a time to indulge, you say! Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to go on a diet. But, if you’re a latte-a-day kind of guy or gal, or if you go out to eat every day, consider making coffee at home and packing a lunch. Little money-saving acts like these can really add up quickly.

  1. Make it a potluck

People love to show off their cooking and baking skills during the holidays. If you're hosting a gathering, a potluck will take a huge financial burden off your back.

  1. Be creative

By a certain age, Christmas is about more than getting the latest and greatest thing you saw on TV. When it comes to buying gifts for parents, grandparents and other adults on your list, be creative and thoughtful. Personalized gifts that have special significance are usually more affordable and meaningful.

If a new home is on your wish list, talk to Coldwell Banker Hedges Realtor® today. No matter the season, they know the market and can help find your ideal home.

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