Along with holiday cheer comes what feels like Santa’s choke-hold on my bank account. Don’t get me wrong, I love nothing more than to find the PERFECT gift for someone I love. However, my finances are still recovering from a wedding a few months ago and with the economy the way it is, money just isn’t what it used to be! This gift-giving season, I’ve had to be a bit more creative than in past years. I don’t want to be selfish, so here are some creative cost-cutting ideas:

  • Those of you who shop months in advance; it’s great if you know exactly what you want to give someone and that the price won’t fluctuate (for instance, any apple product). But, the sales get better the closer you get to Christmas. This year, Christmas falls on a Saturday, giving many retail stores a full week to lure you in with promises of 30%, 40% and yes, I’ve even seen 50% off all purchases. 
  • Do you have a credit card with a points rewards benefit? It isn’t cheap if you use them to buy a FANTASTIC gift! For instance, someone on my Christmas list had a very expensive item that nobody in the family could swing because they’d already done their shopping. Lo and behold, it was on American Express’s shopping site for a discounted point value. Wouldn’t your loved one rather get the gift of their dreams, even if it isn’t purchased with your cold, hard cash?
  • Nordstrom Rack and Marshalls are LIVESAVERS. I got a good portion of my shopping done here and for a fraction of the price. Michael Kors wallet at half price? Yes, please! Kenneth Cole winter jacket for under $100? WINNING. Again, nobody has to know what you paid for it – all that matters is that you can afford to give it to them!
  • Do you have any stray gift cards from returns or purchases earlier in the year that you aren’t using? Now’s the time to break ’em out and put them to use. It is still your money – you just aren’t spending it on yourself! Sharing is caring, folks! 
Now, I don’t want what I’ve said here to be misconstrued. Don’t be cheap! Just be thoughtful and use EVERYTHING you have at your disposal for those who you care about! Happy Shopping!
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