Holiday Giving Without Overspending

Holiday Giving Without Overspending

I always love the holidays.  I love the smiles I see on my kids’ faces, the joy that a thoughtful gift can bring, the smell of fresh baked cookies, fuzzy socks, hot chocolate, pink cheeks from playing outside in the cold and the beautiful lights on everyone’s homes.  The genuine cheer brings my heart happiness.  What I don’t love - is that sinking feeling I get when I spend more than I know I should.  The holidays are a time of joy but can also be a time of stress if you haven’t saved enough or if money is tight.  We all deserve to celebrate the holidays with loved ones without the financial hangover in January.

A recent survey revealed that this year, amid Covid-19:

  • 24% of Canadians will have to forgo the holidays
  • 64% don’t save throughout the year
  • 46% don’t plan their spending in advance
  • 7 in 10 will go over their budget
  • $643 is the average amount spent by Canadians

So if you are feeling this way too, you are not alone.  But consider that holiday giving doesn’t have to mean holiday overspending.  The true meaning of the holidays is about connecting and being present with our loved ones.  Here are four tips to give for the holidays without breaking the bank:

    1. Gift of Time – while corona can make this difficult, video technology can come to the rescue.  Maybe it as simple as carving time to catch up or if your region permits a good old fireside chat with a friend can be as meaningful as an expensive gift. Perhaps you can offer to shovel their sidewalks this winter? Who wouldn’t want that as a gift?! Or even walk dogs for someone you care about. 
    2. Gift a Letter – with technology we have lost the old art of letter writing.  This can be particularly special for our older family members who truly value this connection, especially if they are far away. Have your children write letters to grandparents and include some of their artwork and it will only cost you the price of a stamp.
    3. Consider a “Secret Santa” for large groups – the cost for gifts with aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends can get expensive.  If you have a group of friends and want to keep it reasonable consider putting names in a hat so you only have to purchase one gift for one person instead of the whole group. And be sure to agree on a budget in advance.
    4. Consider a gift from the heart bake some cookies, hand craft a tree ornament …. get creative.  Everyone loves something that has this kind of thoughtfulness behind it. 

The holidays will definitely look different this year due to the pandemic and the financial challenges we have all experienced as a collective.  Now is the perfect time to reach out to your family and friends to propose something different this year that works for your holiday giving budget.  The key is to have the conversation early so that everyone is on board.  There is no doubt that many people would welcome a discussion on an alternative for this year. 

To learn more about ideas for Holiday Giving without Overspending watch this awesome segment with our VP Jasmine Marra. Click here 

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