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If you dread the thought of buying expensive presents for family and friends on top of all your other financial responsibilities, it is time to change your approach to gift giving.

Eunice Sibiya, head of consumer education at FNB, admits that the biggest difficulty around making the change to giving inexpensive gifts is managing the expectations of the receivers. The financial relief of not overspending on gifts will leave you with more cash to spend on school fees, or to put away for savings for the upcoming year. Also, making the change will reinforce good spending behaviour in the years to come. Sibiya suggests the following ways to introduce your financial U-turn to friends and family:

1.For the kids

It is easy to overspend on children during the holiday, with the excessive seasonal hype and huge variety of products available to buy. Explain to the children that you are saving this year and how they can be part of the plan. Encourage them to think about things they can make for family members and contribute to the creative process of putting time and effort into the gifts.

2. For extended family and adult family friends

You shouldn’t feel the need or be under any pressure to splurge – there are many thoughtful gifts that you can give to extended family members and family friends. If you are a baker, consider baking a dessert or some sweet treats to give to them. Gardeners can split plants to give as gifts. Or, if you have a bit of time, grow plants from cuttings.

3. For adult family members

Try the age-old ‘Secret Santa’ concept to save money. Put the names of all participating adults in a hat and draw a person’s name to decide on who is giving a gift to whom. The group can decide on a monetary limit for the gift to keep everything fair.

4. For partners

Sit down together and have an honest talk about where you stand financially and what you would rather do with the money than spend it on gifts for each other. You will need each other’s support during this time to curb unnecessary expenses, so instead of getting a present for your partner this year, why not write down their favourite activities and plan to enjoy those together?

Source: FNB. Image: Pixabay

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