Well it’s that time of year again—when you need to think about holiday gifts.
You can’t leave it all to Santa—he’s a very busy man.
I heard someone the other day say you shouldn’t spend more than 3% of your annual income on holiday giving.
3%?! I need a moment.
Giving gifts doesn’t have to cost that much. You just need to do a little creative thinking.
How about some ideas that are completely free?
First strategy… try the sentimental route for family and close friends.
Arrange to get them something that once belonged to their grandparents.
Or something they loved from their childhood.
Those are meaningful gifts.
Another approach--- offering services.
For a friend that travels, offer pet sitting.
And for parents, the gift of a single night of childcare so they can go out can be worth the kid’s weight in gold.
Once you’ve ruled out free options, try going creative, but low cost.
Here’s a great idea that’s personal and smart.
Get them a single share of stock in a company that relates to them somehow.
Many companies stock is less than $30, and the companies will often sell you a share of stock directly, saving you money on fees and commissions.
This can also be a way to get kids aware of investing. For example, you can buy a single share of the toy maker Mattel—maker of Barbie and Hot Wheels, direct from the company for about 30 bucks.
You can buy a share of Sony for around $20. They make Playstation, and movies like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
One other idea that provides a big bang for a few bucks in savings bonds. You can give a $50 savings bond that will get someone’s attention, but you only have to pay $25 for it.
And not to nag, try to pay for gifts with cash or debit this season, not on credit unless you plan to pay it off next month.
Will you? Will you?
Be creative with your gift ideas, and everyone wins this holiday. And Santa can take a break.
Do us a favor. Tell your friends about this blog so they can be smarter about their money too.