When money is tight, we often give the least to those who mean the most. Instead of forgoing neighbor gifts or teacher gifts, we decide not to do anything special for our spouse. Sometimes the stress of thinking of another gift causes us to enter into a gift-giving truce with our husband or wife.
Here are some strategies to save on spouse gifts, while still giving thoughtful and meaningful gifts.
Focus on Needs
When finances are tight, we often avoid buying things for ourselves even when they would normally be justifiable needs. Chances are, if money is tight, both you and your spouse have legitimate needs that are going unmet.
If you have a little bit of money set aside for Christmas gifts for each other, focus on things that your spouse really needs instead of spending it on frivolous niceties.
Make Something for Each Other
If you enjoy a good challenge, setting a “handmade challenge” for Christmas gifts might be totally up your alley.
Even if you aren’t crafty, a thoughtful love letter, a creative book of the top ten things you love about your spouse, or a compilation of favorite photos or memories is something anyone can do. You’ll find that handmade gifts from the heart will mean much more than any gift you could have bought.
Give the Gift of Time
Most of us are spread so thin these days that the people who mean the most sometimes get very little of our time. The gift of time, especially when it’s scarce, is more valuable than what you could buy in the store on any budget.
Remember when you were a kid and you made coupons for mother’s day that your mom could redeem for breakfast in bed, mowing the lawn, or a big hug? Why not do the same for your spouse? You can get creative and make it fun, thoughtful, and personal.
How About You?
- Do you and your spouse give each other gifts?
- Do you have a price limit or rules about spouse gifts?
Originally published 17 Dec 2014, but updated to be included in the Frugal Festivities series.