So the Christmas season is upon us and we are in the mood for giving but with these economic times how can we give to others without creating a financial burden for ourselves? It is so easy to get caught up in the season and go impulse buying. The following tips are sure to help curve your appetite.

First and foremost you need to know what you can afford to spend in total without going into debt and creating a worse financial situation for yourself. Increasing your present debt load will not only create financial avec for you in the new year but will also effect your health both emotionally and physically. If your friends and family have a difficult time with this concept, ask them how they would feel if you became homeless, could not put food on the table, cloth your family or had a heart attack due to the stress of increased financial worries and were not around to enjoy the milestones in their life.

Second, stick to your budget since that is why you created it in the first place. Make a detailed list with everyone’s name, the item you are giving and the dollar value you wish to spend on their gift. Check your closets, drawers and crawl spaces for those gifts you purchased ahead of time but have forgotten about. After you do go shopping, remember to update your list as you purchase the items so you inadvertently do not purchase the gift twice. If you decide to spend $20 on Tommy, make sure you are not spending $50 even if the more expensive item is enticing. Be truthful with yourself. If the gift is the issue, you may want to question your relationship with the person receiving the gift.

Deciding where you are going to shop and buy the items. This is just as important as what you are buying. As Christmas approaches the sale items increase since retailers do not want the stock left on their shelves. One friend likes to give money as a gift to her college nieces and nephews since they can usually buy more of what the really want with it at the Boxing Day sales thus helping you remain within our budget.

Consider buying on-line. This way you purchase only what is on your list and you avoid the temptation to buy items not on the list. Many places have free shipping to family and friends in other provinces.

Third be creative. Listen to the people you are giving to. Sometimes the item they need or would like the most is quite simple. There are a lot of us out there who love homemade baked goods but either do not have the time or the talent to accomplish this activity. Quite a few people would take a couple dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies over some plastic doodad. Consider enrolling in a local art class together or arrange a day for a hike somewhere. Record your family history for future generations. One idea is to pick the same family gathering and have each family member write their version of the event. Take anything you haven’t opened in the past year and used and re-gift it. Consider giving you favorite item which you love to others. For example the plastic container cutting shears, or the pizza cutter which can apparently be used for other things as well.

Fourth, consider shopping an hour before store closing so you are motivated to go directly to the area where the gift you are looking is located and thus are not tempted by all the other items in the store.

Fifth, consider giving the gift of your friendship and caring. With email today many of us do not send written greeting cards, but inevitably there are some family members and friends to whom we do send one. Consider inviting your friends over for a card-signing party. Each attendee brings an appetizer and beverage or a dessert and beverage and you supply the music, tables to write on and the pens. Parents love some free time away from the children so consider having the children over to an afternoon of fun in the snow making snowmen, snow forts sledding, etc. The children will have fun and their parents will have a few hours to themselves. These activities tend to last longer in our memory banks than the blue sweater with the pink stripes.

Remember, when people know you are giving what you can afford and it is truly from the heart, the importance put into the dollar diminishes greatly.

Author's Bio: 

Best-selling author, coach and speaker Margaret L. Good has transformed lives by showing people that success, wealth and living abundantly is not difficult when you learn simple life altering principles.

For the past 27 years, Margaret has supported hundreds of people from many walks of life as a CGA. Margaret is a unique and stand alone speaker and coach. Her candor and ability to point out what your true gifts, talents and inspiration are can quickly help you live the life you have always dreamed of.

Helping you reach your fullest potential is Margaret’s mission in life. A stellar business woman, wife and mother, Margaret shows her clients and audiences how to truly have it all and live the way you want to, aligned with God and never in scarcity.

Margaret’s co-authored best-selling book Living in Abundance has become well known. She has also co-authored a book specifically for the inspiration of women across the globe Wake Up Women Be Happy, Healthy and Wealthy which reached #7 on the Barnes & Noble best-sellers list in January 2009.

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