Managing your money can be a challenge at the best of times. As a military spouse, your money struggles may be even...
There’s a popular meme making the rounds that states, “Christmas Rules: #1. Don’t go into debt trying to show people how much you love them.” While this is a great rule for any time of year, it’s even more important during the busy Christmas season, when it doesn’t take much to cause problems with your budget. Are you struggling to keep up with Christmas spending this year? Try some of these cost-effective gift ideas to help make it easier to shop for everyone on your list–and keep in mind that Christmas gifts don’t have to be expensive when you give a gift from the heart.
Do you have a friend who is constantly at the gym or planning their next workout? Try some of these great gift ideas:
- Wireless headphones, which can be had for $20 or less on Amazon and in many other locations. Sure, there are more expensive versions out there, but your athletic friend may well go through headphones in a hurry anyway, if they’re constantly wearing them out no matter what the weather.
- A food box filled with power bars, gels for running, and other items that are likely to catch your friend’s interest. You can fill it as full as you like and use a small box or an empty one. You never know when those bars will be a real luxury–and it’s a gift that’s sure to see plenty of use!
- A great water bottle. Athletic people are constantly looking for the perfect water bottle to stay hydrated through a workout.
Friends Who Love to Read
Picking out a book for a bookworm can feel like an incredible challenge, whether your friend is a picky bookworm or you’re fairly sure that they’ve read every book you’ve thought of. Try some of these strategies:
- Pick out a book light that will allow them to keep reading long after the lights are out for the night. This is a considerate mood for their spouse, too–especially if your friend has received a lot of books for Christmas!
- Choose a copy of your favorite book–even a used one will do, as bookworms understand the value of a used book–and write them a note explaining why it’s your favorite.
- Grab a bath book caddy to make it easier to read in the tub.
- Find a special bookmark that reminds you of your friend.
Your Artist Friends
Art supplies can be hard to buy for someone else, especially if you don’t know what brands and types of supplies they prefer. There are, however, some great gifts you can try.
- Pick up a new set of their favorite pencils or paints. They’ll love you for it!
- Grab a new sketchbook. There’s nothing quite like that first fresh page, and it’s a gift that they’ll be sure to use.
- Find a new medium for them to try: a 3D pen, for example, can make for an interesting Christmas morning and several days thereafter.
- Grab a gift certificate to a pottery or painting class. Consider going with them to make it a bonding experience as well as a Christmas gift!
Teachers in Your Life
Teachers get a lot of small, often meaningless gifts from their students each year. Do you have a teacher in your life? Make sure that your gift matters.
- Pick out a great bag to use to transport items back and forth. Find one with plenty of room, deep pockets, and natural dividers that make it easier to separate out important items.
- Grab some school supplies that you know your teacher friend is constantly running out of. Fill a cute box with pencils or put together a wreath of crayons. A little creativity can go a long way toward offering a meaningful gift and preventing your friend from having to buy some of their supplies out of their own pocket. Dry erase markers, organization items, and pens and pencils are almost always in short supply.
- Find a great water bottle: like your sporty friend, your teacher friend always needs one!
Putting together a fantastic, cost-effective gift takes work, but you know that the important people in your life are worth it. This list is a great starting place for the ones you love most. Use it as a springboard to help you hunt down holiday deals and make the most of your holiday spending this season.