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It’s difficult to think of what to buy people for Christmas gifts, especially when you’re on a budget.  But setting a limit and sticking to your budget will make Christmas just as special without having the worry of the credit card statement arriving in the New Year.

Be realistic about what you can afford!

You don’t have to spend a lot on presents to show loved ones that you care. It might be the season of giving but be honest with what you can afford. Set limits with family members and friends on what’s going to be realistic for you. Being selective with who to get for can be difficult, so agree with people who you’re going to buy for so that you can budget and still get thoughtful gifts!

Ask those you’re getting for to give you a few ideas to choose from, so you can still surprise them with their gift, but you can manage their expectations. Your family and friends will be pleased to get something from their list, rather than a last-minute panic buy.

Secret Santa and wish lists

Why not host a Secret Santa with your family and friends? This will limit the number of people you need to get for and the more people who get involved the more fun it will be! Instead of buying something for everyone, you just need to get one gift. Plus, you have an agree amount to spend, which will make sure you don’t break the bank!

Shop online with your budget!

We love Pound Toy for getting affordable stocking fillers for as little as 1p – along with plenty of discounted toys! Here’s some ideas for gifts for £5 and under too. For other creative Christmas ideas, use search engines to your advantage. Set the limit and search for ‘Christmas presents for under £10’ for example – you’ll see there’s loads of fun and quirky gift ideas!

Home-baked Christmas presents!

Home baked gifts can be cheap to make and just as – if not more – thoughtful as store-bought presents! Popular favourites are shortbread biscuits, gingerbread, truffles or traditional mince pies. Your family and friends will really appreciate the love and care you put into them.

Pre-loved gifts!

If you have budgeted to buy gifts this Christmas, look on local online selling groups for gifts or go to local charity shops. Second-hand gifts are a good way to reuse instead of creating waste. You could even sell things you don’t use for some more money to put in your Christmas fund. If you haven’t used something for over a year, consider selling it so someone else can enjoy it!

Christmas presents with a difference

For unique presents, go to a local Christmas market for ideas and gifts. You can borrow ideas from the custom crafts – and if it’s in the budget you can buy something affordable and support an independent business too.

Make memories instead of buying expensive gifts!

Spend time with family to make memories. Instead of costly gifts, go for a Christmas walk and look for reindeer footprints! It’s really fun for the family and you can take pictures of your adventure! On Christmas Day have a treasure hunt with one gift at the end, it’s exciting for the little ones and instead of lots of presents that they’ll be bored of by January, they’ll remember the chocolate coins they found along the way and the excitement of finding their present at the end!

Christmas presents whilst saving money

What do you get someone who’s got everything? The gift of you! A Christmas experience voucher you make yourself and pop in a card can really mean a lot. Offer to clean the house so your loved one can relax or to walk the dog when the weather isn’t so nice!

Don’t get caught up in the Christmas hype. We’ve all seen news articles where people have spent thousands of pounds on presents, but you don’t need to spend a lot to enjoy Christmas. You don’t need to compare what you’ve bought to what others buy. During lockdown last year all we wanted was to be able to see our loved ones – so remember what’s important!

Don’t let the season of giving become the season of borrowing.  Have a look at our Financial Wellbeing Hub for other budgeting tips!

Read our other blogs on how to budget this Christmas: