The mil­len­nial guide to buy­ing Christ­mas gifts with­out spend­ing more than you should


1. Start early We know you’re prob­a­bly busy, but the last thing you want to do is to leave your gift shop­ping to the very last minute. Not only is that more stress­ful, it also doesn’t give you a lot of time to do your re­search and com­pare prices. You don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to buy ev­ery­thing right now, but know­ing all your op­tions can save you a ton of money. It’s still 13 days ‘til Christ­mas so you still have time.

2. Fo­cus on ex­per iences

In­stead of giv­ing some­one a P1,500 dress or polo, you might just want to treat them to din­ner at their fa­vorite place. You can also make a DIY coupon for a non-ne­go­tiable hang­out sesh or short road trip for next year. It's a nice way to make time for each other with­out the temp­ta­tion of be­ing able to back out from a solid plan. Plus, it'll save you from spend­ing on that present right now.

3. Do you have any spe­cial skills?

If you’re an artist, you can use your skills to make some­thing per­sonal for your loved ones. If you’re a photographer, you can of­fer to take some shots for free or bet­ter yet frame a photo of them that you took. If you’re a graphic de­signer, you can give them por­traits of them­selves. Yes, it’s waaay more ef­fort, but it’s also much cheaper (and more im­pres­sive).

4. Think about hand­made or home­made gifts

Hey, ev­ery­body loves food. No one’s go­ing to com­plain about get­ting home­made cook­ies or brown­ies for Christ­mas. If that’s not your thing, you could also try em­broi­der­ing your friend’s name on a hand­ker­chief or towel. Be cre­ative.

5. Take ad­van­tage of sales

Got a friend who loves the beach? A lot of sum­mer mer­chan­dise go on sale in De­cem­ber, but those sale racks are ex­actly what you need to hit up while you’re Christ­mas shop­ping! This is one way of plan­ning ahead. Not ev­ery­thing you buy this time of year has to be hol­i­day-themed.

6. Make a list and stick to it

Just like how you should never go gro­cery shop­ping when you’re hun­gry, you should avoid just walk­ing around the mall when you need to buy presents. Brain­storm be­fore you leave the house. It’s too easy to be dis­tracted by all the op­tions. We’re sure you’ve ex­pe­ri­enced buy­ing a bunch of stuff be­cause you thought, “Oh, I’m sure this will be per­fect for some­one.” But then you end up not know­ing who to give it to. Be mind­ful and stick to your list.

7. Shop for other peo­ple, not your­self

Warn­ing: there’s go­ing to be a lot of cute stuff out there. Every piece of cloth­ing is go­ing to feel like a must-have; it’s not. Fo­cus on your list! Re­mind your­self that its Christ­mas, and who knows what you’re go­ing to get this year, right?

8. Or, be hon­est and tell ev­ery­one that you just can’t af­ford to buy gifts this year. All the peo­ple worth keep­ing will un­der­stand.

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