Broke? 5 Basically Free Holiday Gift Ideas

Is your credit card maxed out and your savings account dried up? Don’t let a light (or empty) wallet have you saying bah-humbug. If anything, a shoestring budget opens up unique gift giving possibilities. Instead of searching online or fighting crowds to find just the right gift over the next few days, create your own.

A jar of gratitude: Think of this as an anytime mood boost. The container really doesn’t matter as much as what’s inside – all the reasons you love and appreciate gift recipient. So, the next time your friend or family member feels down, they can reach in and be reminded of all the ways they are awesome. It’s the gift that keeps giving all year long!

Regifting: How many items do you have in the closet that still have tags on them or may even still be wrapped? How about those gift cards to the movies or restaurants you’ll never visit? To avoid any awkward moments, be sure you know who gave you the gift, and if going the pay-it-forward gift card route, verify the expiration date and that it has never been used.

Be a game master: Laugh and reminisce while learning more about your family and friends by creating games about moments shared together. Create your own version of Pictionary to play based on family stories of grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and uncles. Or create a family version of Would You Rather, where players guess which family member would be more likely to do something. Try playing favorite songs and guessing which friend or family member is most likely to have it on their playlist. The possibilities are endless!

Create your own coupon book: Studies show that experiences deliver more lasting happiness than material items. So, fill a homemade coupon book with meaningful experiences. For some, that might mean breakfast in bed or sleeping in, for others it could mean a day of watching sports without any complaints. Give your kids coupon books to get out of chores, extra video game time and a day of yes (with the fine print disclaimer that sets a price limit for “asks”).

Recipe book: This one is perfect for the foodies in your life. Print out or make a PDF of your favorite recipes or new recipes that your recipient will enjoy!  Include notes, photos, or specific recipes tailored to the recipient’s taste to add a personalized touch too.

Never underestimate the effectiveness of a thoughtful gesture!

Article Source: Myriam DiGiovanni for Financialfeed.com

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