4 Steps to Successful Gift Giving

by Kay Lynn

What's in the booooxxxx?
Now that the holiday season is safely past it does not mean you can forget about gift giving for nine months. In fact, you’re behind if you haven’t given it much thought yet.  I used to be that way.  Every gift occasion was a budget surprise  but with these four steps you can learn from my mistakes.

Step 1:Plan

In order to be prepared first identify which occasions you will spend money on to give  gifts.  If it helps, look through your checkbook or budget software such as Quicken 2011.  Put the monetary amount next to each.

Don’t forget to include the unknown.  These are the presents you don’t give regularly such as for coworkers having babies or getting married. Heck, even your friends and family may elope or have a little bundle before the year is out.

Step 2: Budget

Add up the cost for the gifts planned in step 1.  For the average person the number is probably shocking once calculated.  It was for us!  I went back and trimmed the amount for various items on the gift list until the annual amount was a reasonable and affordable amount.  There is no magic number so each person will have to decide for themselves.

Take the final number and divide it by 12 and there’s your monthly gift number for the budget.  Set aside into a sinking fund for gifts to use when buying presents on the list.  This is how we had a debt-free Christmas.

Step 3: Shop

Because you know which presents you need all year, shop throughout the year for them.  This way you can take advantage of sales and specials.  My mother is so good at this she has a gift closet that she does her shopping from when it’s time to give out presents.

4: Relax

Because you’ve planned, budgeted and shopped throughout the year gift giving stress is mostly removed.  I say mostly, because you may still  have that one person on the list for whom it’s impossible to find the right present.

These steps helped me take the craziness out of holidays.  What are you tips on giving gifts?

photo credit: BrittneyBush

Content © Bucksomeboomer  2009-2010. All Rights Reserved.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken February 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm

we’ve done the divide by 12 thing for years..it works….you don’t end up slapping Christmas expenses on Credit Cards.

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Charlotte Prescott February 27, 2010 at 8:19 pm

It’s interesting–I also plan ahead for gifts, but do so by crafting and shopping ahead when I find either a wonderful price on something or something wonderful for one of my loved ones. Keeping a gift cabinet has saved our family hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the years, and has almost eliminated last-minute trips to the store for birthday parties my kids sort of forget to remind their scattered mother about!

I can easily see how your system would do well for more organized thinkers, and very much appreciate anything that helps people avoid going into debt for gift-giving.
.-= Charlotte Prescott´s last blog ..Lost Drinking Game =-.

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Bucksome February 28, 2010 at 5:40 am

Hi Charlotte, I’m not a crafter so this is how I plan. Interesting observation that it would work for more organized thinkers. That is the way my brain’s oriented and sometimes I get teased by friends and family for being so .

Thank you for the comment and I hope to see you here again.

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