You’ve done a good job of sticking to your financial
plan all year, but when it comes to holiday gift giving, it’s easy to let good intentions
knock you off your savings path. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans
spend about $1,000 on winter holiday gifts. That can be a real budget-buster, but
meaningful gifts don’t have to come with a hefty price tag. We’ve got some $25-or-less
gift ideas for everyone on your list.
Office gifts are part of work culture. Maybe you
manage a team and want to give your group a token of appreciation. Or you know one
person who always gives gifts, and you want to return the favor. A work-appropriate
gift that won’t put your account in arrears could be a nicely bound notebook, a
quality writing pen or a gift bag of color-coordinated office supplies like paper
clips, magnets and Post-it notes. Keep it professional but fun to brighten your
Seasonal Presents to Service Providers
Postal workers, hair stylists and even your GrubHub
driver are people you might want to thank during the holidays. A batch of your favorite
cookies presented in a festive box or tin is a low-cost way to show your gratitude
for a year of good service. Make it extra special by including a handwritten note
and a copy of the recipe.
Thank Your Terrific Teachers
Whether it’s your child’s 4th grade teacher
or your yoga instructor, there’s lots of reasons to give extra thanks to the people
who help us learn and grow. A pick-me-up, like a $10 gift card to a coffee shop,
can help any teacher start their day off right. Make it more meaningful by supporting
a local business close to your favorite teacher’s place of employment. Bakeries,
ice-cream parlors or tea shops often offer gift certificates or cards that you can
package in a pretty envelope or decorated box for that personal touch.
Great Gifts for Grandparents
Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins — you want
to remember your extended family in your holiday giving, but the costs can add up.
Go for truly personal, budget-conscious family gifts by using the photos you
take during the year to make photo-mugs, photo-calendars or even a family photo
t-shirt! You can look online for low-cost, photo-personalized gift services. And
at some big-box stores or national pharmacies, you can connect your camera or thumb
drive to their in-store kiosk for easy ordering and processing.
Treat Yourself Too
No one should fault you for indulging in a holiday
gift to yourself, but you should be as mindful here as you are in your presents
to others. Money you receive as gifts (and funds you save by using our budget gift
ideas!) can add up to a special treat and an end-of-year contribution to your retirement
savings account. Talk to your WellCents financial professional about how catch-up
contributions can help maximize your retirement savings and give your future self
the gift that keeps on giving — a more financially secure retirement.