It’s the holidays, and although many folks are taught “It’s the thought that counts,” the reality is that no one wants a crappy gift. Most of us aren’t necessarily rolling in dough, but you don’t have to be well-off to get your loved ones nice presents.

Here are five ways to stretch your funds without cheating your friends and family this holiday season:



1. Get Creative.

Everyone should know how to ball on a budget. Make gifts for your loved ones, get what they want on sale or simply opt to put their gifts on layaway. People diss payment plans, but for some they can be a viable alternative to paying out-of-pocket. Just make sure the gifts you purchase are worth it, and you can truly afford the monthly payments.

2. Help Around the House.

Sometimes a little help goes a loonng way. If your mom has been nagging you to clean out the garage, gutters or simply assist around her home, do so. In an effort to get creative, you can even can create vouchers for her to use. If you benefit from a spouse or lover who consistently cleans up your crib, giving her or him the day off is just perfect. Surprise your significant other by cleaning the house, picking up his or her clothes from the cleaners and/or preparing dinner. Make him or her the priority, then see how much bae smiles.

3. Cheap Appliances Are Your Friend.

If you can really see yourself impressing your loved one by cleaning up, get him or her a favorite appliance. No, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that $3,000 washing machine, but a nice fancy can opener or something else he or she can really use would suffice.

4. Personal Pampering is the Way to Go.

Once again, gift vouchers and acts of service are your friend. Gift your loved one with a professional spa day via Living Social or Groupon (they always have deals) or simply treat them to a day of luxury yourself. Gift vouchers are also a nice alternative so they can use your services when they need them the most.

5. Gift Cards Don’t Cost Much. 

If you cannot see yourself making a gift voucher or five, get your loved one a gift card to his or her favorite store. Half the battle is won because you do not have to guess if your sweetie like it because, well, you already know it’s someplace he or she likes to shop!



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