If you want to minimize debt, there are ways to avoid charging gifts for friends or families. Between anniversaries and graduations, you might find yourself purchasing gifts throughout the year. This isn't a problem if you have a lot of money. But if you’re cash-strapped, buying gifts can take a chunk of your income. And in these situations, you might rely on a credit card. However, charging gifts isn’t the answer — if anything, you'll complicate your finances. For that matter, here are seven ways to avoid charging gifts.
Opening a “giving” account with your bank is one of the best ways to avoid charging gifts. Each paycheck, set aside $15, $20 or whatever you can afford. Use the money in this account specifically for purchasing gifts. This way, when a special occasion arises you'll have funds available to buy a gift.
Another way to avoid charging gifts is to set limits. There is no rule that says you have to break the bank to buy a gift for a friend or relative. Before you shop, determine how much you can realistically spend. When shopping for another person, it's really the thought that counts. Therefore, even if you can only afford to spend a little, the other person will appreciate your generosity.
If you're shopping for a gift, determine the best times to purchase. Some people purposely wait until holiday sales and other clearances to stock up on gifts. They maintain a gift supply in their home, and then give these items away when the time arises.
Some people aren't fans of regifting. But if you receive a gift that you can't use, and you don't have a gift receipt, regifting is the best way to make use of the item. For example, when I got married I received three toasters and zero gift receipts. I had a choice — either keep the unused toasters in my closet, or pass them on to others. I chose the latter option and the gifts were appreciated by the recipients.
If you have a credit card with a rewards program, now is a good time to redeem your points. With a rewards program, you’ll earn points or cash back for every dollar you spend. You can redeem points for gift cards, merchandise, statement credit or a check. When giving a gift to someone, you might be able to redeem your points for a gift card to their favorite retail store.
Who says you have to spend money to give a gift? There are plenty of ways to give that don't cost a dime. For example, a friend couldn't afford to purchase a baby shower gift for her cousin. Therefore, she volunteered to babysit the couples children once a week for a month so they could have date nights.
Some people are hesitant to give a card without putting cash inside. Although this is customary, the recipient will likely understand if you’re going through tough times. Plus, encouraging words of support and gratitude might mean more to the person than an actual gift.
Buying gifts for others can put a strain on your finances, but there are ways to show appreciation or give commendation without breaking the bank. What are other ways to avoid charging gifts for friends and relatives?
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