When pinching every penny possible, you will need to get creative about saving money. One easy area of your budget to consider a reduction of spending is in giving gifts.
It can be quite challenging to think about how to give to those you love without spending, yet it’s quite possible to provide very cherished gifts while sticking to a budget.
Consider a few of the following ideas for inspiration:
Gifts for Your Parents
1. A car wash and a picnic lunch.
Offer to wash your mom and dad’s car. Afterward, take them to a park for a picnic lunch in their new clean car. As kids age, how much time really does a parent get to spend alone with a grown son or daughter?
● Cleaning with a little elbow grease probably takes just 3 hours of your time. Mom or Dad will be extremely thrilled that you’re spending this time together.
2. The wonder of a home-cooked meal.
Speaking of lunch, another option is to invite Mom and Dad over for a home-cooked meal? You’ll spend a little money on the food for the meal and some time doing the prep and cooking, but it’s much cheaper than an expensive dinner out.
3. Wild card day to spend together.
Give parents a day to spend doing whatever they want, with you of course. Maybe you can watch an old movie with your movie or go to a ballgame with your dad. Even after raising you for 18+ years, you’ll be surprised at how much the gift of time is appreciated.
Gifts for Siblings and Friends
1. Offer to help with a hobby.
Give your time to help a friend or loved one with doing something they love to do.
● For example, if your brother enjoys doing genealogy, give him one whole day of your time to do research toward his project. Maybe you’ll go to your hometown and search for legal documents at the town hall or interview family members or visit a cemetery to gather info from a gravestone.
● As a bonus you won’t have to spend limited funds on a gift your brother might never even use anyway.
2. Have a grown-up slumber party.
For a good friend or sister, have you thought about an invitation to spend the night at your place, just for fun? Stay up late, order a late-night pizza, and watch scary movies.
3. Assist with a dreaded chore.
How incredible does the gift of cleaning out your garage sound? As a kid it would be an incredibly boring gift to receive, but as an adult you would probably be thrilled. Giving a task-based gift is a wonderfully special idea.
● These types of gifts will also last a long time. It takes years to get a garage disorganized, but just a few hours to set it right.
Gifts for children and grandchildren
1. Family traditions are gifts in themselves.
As a mother or a grandmother, the simple act of spending time with you baking cookies or tending the garden can become lifelong traditions. Pass down the secret to your fluffiest pancakes or oatmeal raisin cookies. Costs are minimal, and the memories will last for years. Your grandchildren can even pass down these traditions to your great grandchildren.
2. Spend half a day playing games.
Although you might spend plenty of time with your grandchild, how often do you completely drop everything and play whatever game that they want?
● This simple amount of time spent playing could be among the best gift you’ll have ever given to your grandchild. Letting the child decide how to spend your special time together is perfect as long as there is little to no financial cost.
As much as you love giving gifts to others, the possibility of giving the gift of time can be much more rewarding and lasting. Plus, the receiver will enjoy spending extra hours with you and you’ll benefit by deepening your emotional ties with loved ones by giving the gift of your precious time.