We know that the time for giving and receiving can unfortunately sometimes become a little bit awkward when it comes to spending. Of course, everyone has a different view of generosity and completely different budgets to work with so not all members of your family may see eye to eye on yuletide expenditure. We all know the feeling when you’ve bought someone a thoughtful and quite expensive gift and they might have picked up some socks in a 3 for 2 deal.
We’ve got five ideas that could take the awkwardness down a notch between family and friends this festive season.
1. Get funds. Buy gift.
If there’s a plan to club together to buy a special person a larger gift, don’t shell out until you’ve received the money from each person towards the gift. This way, if you’re fronting the cost for the gift, you won’t be out of pocket whilst waiting for the IOUs to arrive in your account. The awkwardness of chasing money that you’re owed from a friend or family member is instantly alleviated and the magic of the group present is back!
2. Secret Santa
The age-old tradition of the mystery gift giving game doesn’t have to revolve around £5 joke presents and office parties (remember those?) Roll it out to your family and close friends for added fun, lower budgets, and no awkwardness over who’s spent what on which person. Sounds like bliss, doesn’t it? Get your group together, explain that you'd like to spend less this year and you don't expect multiple gifts in return. Here’s how…
- Set your budget together
- Pop everyone’s names into a hat and choose one each
- Swap wish lists
This way, everyone receives a gift they’ll really enjoy and you all stick to a budget. No overdrafts or unwanted gifts – sounds like a win-win to us.
3. Lay down the ground rules
If gifting can get out of control over Christmas with extended families, partners, cousins and even more, put a stop to it before it starts to run away with itself! Let your family and friends know how you're planning to buy (or not to buy) gifts for this year and explain (again, this is the key thing!) that you don't expect them in return. Gifting to excess is a sure-fire way to spending more than you originally wanted to but setting boundaries before December hits can be a great way to contain the cost. We bet your cousin's boyfriend won't miss that tenner in a card or toiletries gift set he didn't ask for. Plus, you save time shopping for and wrapping those extra gifts.
4. Skip the round
For festive nights out and party situations, avoid buying rounds if you're wanting to stick to your budget. This’ll stop you shelling out for your bestie's fancy cocktail when you're on the soft drinks and vice versa. Simply tell your pals in a relaxed way that you're not in for the rounds on the night out and stick to your personal budget for your own drinks.
5. Budget for NYE
If you're planning to party on New Year's Eve – try to pop some cash away for it from November and December pay days. This way you won't start January, and a fresh year, already in the red. If you end up not going out – you've got the makings of next year's savings pot! The moral of the budgeting story for the festive season is to be sure that you know what you have to spend, don't overspend where you can't afford it and be open and honest with your friends and family about what you can afford.