4 Ways to Give Gifts Without Going Into Debt
Is it seriously almost November? Holy smokes!! Thanksgiving and Christmas will be upon us before we know it. I’m not even sure how we’ll get it all done! Does anybody have their Thanksgiving menu planned? Have you started Christmas shopping yet??
Technically I have started shopping, but I’m not even close to finished. As always, I have two burning questions: What should I buy these people and how will we afford it? That’s where “4 Ways to Give Gifts Without Going Into Debt comes in.”
In a perfect world, we would all have a ton of money saved for the Holidays. Some people do, and I think they are fabulous! The rest of us don’t always reach our budgeting goals, however. (We are still fabulous though!)
When you haven’t saved enough, it’s sometimes difficult to figure out how you are going to pay for it all. Unless you are super dedicated to your budgeting skills or you are crafty enough to make all homemade gifts, you will most likely “find” a way to pay for gifts. Unfortunately, that way often involves credit card debt.
Personally, I’ve funded Christmas celebrations with credit cards more often than I’d like to admit. I’ve also taken out small loans from the bank and credit union. I’m not super proud of that.
Although I felt like my motives were good, in the end it’s never a smart idea to borrow money just so we can feel good about giving things away. It’s all sweet and thoughtful until that interest kicks in.
Now I know you are wondering; how do we have a great Christmas when the money just isn’t there??? What kinds of gifts do we give for a debt-free/low-cost Christmas? You will find hundreds of articles on the internet with all kinds of advice, but I want to share four of my favorite things to do to slow down the Holiday spending.
- Earn a little extra money.
- Use what you have.
- Be creative.
- Direct Sales isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Earn a Little Extra Money
If I had to choose the best piece of advice, it’s to try to make a little extra money before Christmas so that you don’t have to use credit cards or loans. If you earn a little extra money, you’re still covered if you go a little over budget!
So how do you make extra money before Christmas? There are a lot of ways if you are willing to put in a little work.
Side jobs like waiting tables, delivering pizza, babysitting, or walking dogs can pull in a decent amount if you can work consistently. Yard sales (online or at your home) are another great option and one I use basically every year to earn Christmas money.
Check out the following posts for more great money-making ideas!
Use What You Have
Using what you have doesn’t necessarily mean regifting. Although, if you have some great items that you think someone else will enjoy, go for it! I have no issues at all with receiving regifted items. Then again, I never minded hand-me-downs either!!
Using what you have might also mean using a gift card with money left on it to pay toward a purchase total; using coupons/codes whether you are shopping in store or online; using supplies you have to make homemade gifts; or even just using your unique talents to come up with new and better ideas for a fabulous holiday season!
Be creative. Be thoughtful. Give gifts from the heart and gifts with meaning.
Moms and grandmothers love photo books, calendars, and personalized jewelry. People love meals that you prepare or freeze with instructions for prep.
Give a themed family basket instead of a gift for each person. Examples are: Movie Night, Cookie/Candy Making, Game Night, or even a Christmas-themed basket with music, hot cocoa, a blanket, and some twinkle lights!!
Read 10 Gifts for $10 or Less! for more inexpensive gift ideas.
Direct Sales Isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing
Let’s all just agree that people see Direct Sales in a negative light most of the time. I’ve been there myself once or twice. All companies are not created equal and it really does matter if you put work into it or not, but that’s a story for a different day!
I promise this isn’t a spiel about how absolutely fabulous my previous company was (although I do still love it), but I do want to share how used my Direct Sales business to my benefit for Christmas.
With most direct sales companies, you get things at a discount, plus you earn commission. Keep in mind, that you to pay something as a general rule when you sign up. However, those starter kits are generally worth the price for all the extras you get! Some direct sales companies offer a higher rate of commission as your sales increase and many also offer recruiting commission and bonuses. If it’s a business you love, there is potential to make a lot of money and because of the internet, it’s a whole lot easier to share. Ordering from a dedicated website is really easier than hosting a party!
LimeLife by Alcone allowed us to set up online parties for ourselves through websites and we could actually earn our own hostess credit. I got a lot of free product this way! Plus, I was able to gift skincare and cosmetics to the adults in my life with money I had already budgeted for Christmas. I got commission for the gifts I bought, plus Hostess Credit to buy more. It was a win-win in my book.
Unfortunately, I am no longer with the company because my health just wouldn’t permit me to work on the business and I needed to let go of some things for a while. I would definitely sign up again in the future, even if just to get discounted products.
Here are a few Direct Sales companies that I would recommend/join myself:
LimeLife has great products and that’s all there is to it. I’m not necessarily a “joiner,” so as much as I tried, I just didn’t get into the whole training and back and forth with my recruiter, group, etc. I’m also a horrible sales person. I was over two decades ago when I tried to sell Mary Kay and nothing has changed. I actually talked people out of things because I was afraid they might not be able to afford it. However, I stand by these products. No matter what, One Drop Wonder is the only thing I have found that will get rid of my fever blisters almost immediately and that alone is worth it!
I’ve never been a part of Chalk Couture and I don’t own any of their products. However, I’ve seen them in use and I’m dying to get my hands on all those stencils!! If you are a crafter, this one is super tempting. I can see how I would probably spend more than I earned in commission with this company, but it would totally be worth it!
Pampered Chef products stand the test of time. I still have some of the original kitchen tools that I got back in the late 1990s (yes, they last that long) and I’m still buying these products. My husband swears by his Bar-B-Boss spatula and I think the Toaster Tongs are probably one of the best things ever invented!! I’ve thrown a few Pampered Chef parties–although I prefer the way they used to do in-person parties, because you get to eat the food–and earned some hostess credit. I think it would totally be worth joining if you like to cook and you want quality kitchen tools though.
Tupperware is another company that stands the test of time. My mom still has some some of the canisters from sometimes in the 80s. (Maybe it was 70s…they are orange!) We still have the Winnie the Pooh plate and bowl set from when our boys were small (over 20 years ago). My mother-in-law still has some of the bowls from decades ago and absolutely uses the fire out of them. These products last, so I don’t think the Tupperware company is going out anytime soon. I’m not sure what the cost is to join or what their commission scale is like, but again, if you like to cook, this would be a great company to be part of.
Last, But Not Least
Please don’t forget that Christmas isn’t about the gifts you give or the money you spend. Don’t overextend your budget and cause yourself a lot of stress trying to prove you can buy great presents! If you don’t have the money, you don’t have it and that’s okay.
Gifts of love and service are incredibly thoughtful and should be much appreciated. Here are a few suggestions:
- Write letters of encouragement
- Make homemade coupon books for services or skills you already have (babysitting, back massage, house cleaning, party planning, etc. — share your hidden talents!)
- Start a “Dinner of the Month” club. Set a date each month where they are invited to eat a home-cooked meal with you
- Give the gift of your time — even if it’s just a weekly phone call or dropping by for coffee
Take the time to think about the person and what kind of gift would mean the most to them. They will appreciate that more than you know!
If you want to get a jumpstart on savings for Holidays 2019, make sure to visit Simple Money Saving Tips + Three 52-Week Savings Printables! and download one of the printables to help you keep track of your savings!