CFI Blog

Top 6 Easy Steps to Save Big on Holiday Gifts in 2024 – Ultimate Guide

‘Tis the season to be jolly, but let’s be honest, it can also be a season that’s hard on the wallet. Holiday gift-giving, while heartwarming, often comes with a hefty price tag. But what if I told you there’s a way to spread holiday cheer without breaking the bank?

Understanding the Importance of Budgeting for Gifts

With holiday festivities come joyous giving, but also potential financial strain. Budgeting for gifts plays a critical role in managing this strain, transforming potential stress into planned expenditure.

Why Budgeting Matters

Budgeting stands as an essential strategy in financial management. By allocating a set amount for holiday gifts, it ensures that the holiday cheer isn’t dampened by ensuing financial stress. Particularly during the festive season, spending tends to spike. Without proper planning, such spikes can lead to unnecessary debt.

For instance, let’s consider two scenarios. In the first scenario, without budgeting, you find a perfect gift for a loved one that costs $100. It might seem like an affordable amount at first. However, when repeated for ten people, this becomes a significant $1000 expense.

In contrast, in the second scenario, with a pre-decided budget of $500 for ten people, you may search for meaningful gifts costing $50 each, saving you $500. Planning and sticking to a budget, the second scenario demonstrates, ensures controlled spending while still expressing love and warmth during the holidays.

Tips for Setting a Realistic Gift Budget

Setting a realistic budget entails understanding one’s financial boundaries and respecting them. Below, find three tips to assist in setting a realistic gift budget:

  1. Review Your Finances: Start by reviewing your regular income and expenses. Decide on a comfortable amount you can afford to spend on gifts, without disturbing your normal financial routine.
  2. List Everyone You Plan to Gift: This aids in extending your budget evenly amongst all recipients. For instance, if your total budget is $500 and you have 10 people to shop for, you can allocate $50 per person.
  3. Shop Smart: Utilize sales, discounts, and cashback offers. For instance, if a $100 product is purchased during a 50% off sale, you save $50, which can be distributed to other gifts, allowing more room within your defined budget.

Through these methods, one can give generously while also maintaining financial equilibrium. Remember, the value of a gift doesn’t equate to its cost but to the thought put into it. With careful planning and budgeting, your holiday gifting can bring joy without burdening you with post-holiday financial stress.

Effective Planning Strategies

Miniature people businessmen standing Investment Analysis Or investment stack of coins to thinking and planning as background business concept and strategy concept with copy space.

Keeping the budget and thoughtful gifting in mind, let’s dive into some effective planning strategies. Keep in mind, it’s all about making smart decisions, being organized, with timely actions — a true recipe to avoiding unnecessary financial strain during the holidays.

Start Shopping Early

One of the key strategies to save money and reduce holiday stress is starting your gift shopping early. Early birds, indeed, get the worm as this approach provides ample time for thorough research. Checking prices across various online and offline stores for the best deals becomes achievable when you’re not wrestling with last-minute rush. Additionally, planning ahead allows you to take advantage of sales year-round. For example, buying Christmas gifts at a summer sale or grabbing discounts during Black Friday shopping sprees. Remember, it’s all about leveraging time to your advantage.

Use a Gift List to Stay Organized

Itemizing your gift ideas into a list helps maintain order and prevents impulse purchases. For each person you’re planning to buy for, jot down not just potential gift ideas, but also their approximate prices. A structured list aids in effective cross-verifying with your budget, ensuring that spending remains under control. For instance, if your budget for a friend is $50 and you find a perfect gift for $70, the list will remind you to reconsider your gift choice. It’s more than a record of who gets what; it’s a constant reminder of your overall budget. Remember, a gift list isn’t merely an organization tool; it’s a financial check and balance in disguise. Handy apps like Google Keep or Evernote could assist you in tracking your purchases.

Smart Shopping Tips

Maximizing your savings during holiday shopping involves strategic planning, practical decision-making, and wise expenditure. Timely use of sales and discounts, as well as considering DIY gifting options, can help to make the most of your budget while still gifting wholeheartedly.

Take Advantage of Sales and Discounts

Proactive shopping is a great way to maximize savings on holiday gifts. Early bird sales, for example, Black Friday or Cyber Monday, often feature deep discounts. Therefore, having your gift list ready in advance helps you make the most of these deals. Shopping from online stores where price comparison becomes easy is another smart strategy. Cash back rewards, coupon codes, and membership discount schemes provide additional avenues to save money. For instance, an online store like Amazon frequently offers daily deals and savings through their ‘Today’s Deals’ section.

Consider DIY Gift Options

Gifts need not always be store-bought. Homemade gifts can express more than bought gifts and may bear a notable impact on the recipient. They are creative, personalized, and often more economical. Craftsmanship skills come in handy to create gifts like knitted scarves, handmade candles, or DIY picture frames. However, if crafting isn’t your forte, compilations such as a photo album or a custom-made playlist can also be heartfelt and budget-friendly options. A well-assembled, gourmet gift basket, filled with personally chosen items of interest to the recipient, also fits well in the realm of DIY gifts. Remember, the thoughtfulness imbued in the gift is what counts the most.

Online vs. In-Store Shopping

In the pursuit of cost-effective holiday gift shopping, the debate between online and in-store shopping surfaces. Both online and physical shopping have their unique advantages and pitfalls. It’s about harnessing these benefits prudently to make the most of your shopping experience.

Benefits of Buying Gifts Online

Online shopping provides several benefits, the foremost being convenience. It’s available 24/7 from the confines of your home. No worries about braving crowds, standing in long lines, or commuting. A few clicks, and your shopping is done. If you’re a deal-seeker like me, online shopping is a godsend. Retailers often offer exclusive online discounts, add-on coupon codes, and I’ve often found prices lower than in-store. Plus, comparison shopping is a piece of cake online. With various products, brands, and prices at your fingertips, you inarguably get the best deal.

Let’s not forget that online shopping also provides access to user reviews. Reviews can give you a broad idea about product quality, durability, and worth. Additionally, online marketplaces often have greater product variety and stock compared to physical stores. An out-of-stock label at your local store doesn’t mean you can’t get it online.

When to Choose In-Store Purchasing

Despite the allure of online shopping, it doesn’t eliminate the charm of in-store purchasing. For gifts that require a personal touch, in-store shopping comes out on top. For instance, if you’re buying clothing or shoes, it’s easier to verify sizing, fit, and quality in-person.

In-store shopping also allows for immediate purchase without waiting for shipping. So, if you’ve left your holiday shopping for the 11th hour (we all have been there), hitting the local mall might be your best bet.

Moreover, many stores offer exclusive in-store sales. Some even provide in-store only products during holiday seasons as a way to drive foot traffic. Don’t underestimate this method; you might end up striking a deal in-store that’s unavailable online.

Ultimately, the choice between online and in-store purchasing depends on what, when, and how you’re buying. By weighing each option’s benefits and downsides, and strategically leveraging online and in-store resources, you’re sure to acquire thoughtful gifts without straining your wallet.

Utilize Technology for Extra Savings

After exploring the pros and cons of making online and in-store purchases, it’s essential to capitalize on technology’s help to further save on holiday gift shopping. It makes sense to use apps, websites and rewards programs as they provide extra discounts on purchases.

Apps and Websites That Offer Discounts

When it comes to apps and websites offering discounts, there’s a multitude for me to choose from. Apps like Honey, Rakuten, and RetailMeNot consolidate online discounts and promo codes, providing an easy way to save on digital purchases. Shopping on days like Cyber Monday or even weeks before the holiday rush can give me incredible savings as websites usually offer massive discounts during these times.

It’s always beneficial to check for coupons, deals or flash sales on these platforms. For instance, the Honey app automatically applies the best coupon available at checkout, optimizing your savings without extra effort. That’s why using such apps is one of the best ways I can save money on holiday gifts.

Cashback and Rewards Programs

Apart from discounts, another way to squeeze out more savings is by enrolling in cashback and rewards programs. These programs often offer points for every dollar spent, which can then be redeemed for cash, gift cards, or other merchandise.

Credit cards often have these types of programs built into their use. Charge your purchases to a cashback credit card and, depending on the card’s terms, I could get a percentage of my money back. In addition, many online retailers and shopping apps, like Amazon and Ibotta, also feature rewards programs where I can earn cash back or points as I shop.

Keep in mind, though, that it’s essential to pay off credit card balances in full each month if you’re utilizing these rewards. Carrying a balance negates the savings you earn from cashback and rewards programs, which is counterproductive to my budgeting and saving efforts for holiday gifting.

Whether it’s a deal-finding app or website, a cashback credit card, or a rewards program, technology indeed offers several ways to get extra savings on holiday gift shopping.


So there you have it. I’ve shown you that saving money on holiday gifts doesn’t need to be a daunting task. It’s all about smart budgeting, strategic shopping, and making the most of technology. Whether you’re an online shopper who loves the convenience and variety, or you prefer the personal touch of in-store shopping, there’s a way to save. Don’t forget to explore DIY options too. They’re not only cost-effective but also add a personal touch to your gifts. And remember, the key is to plan early and stick to your budget. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a stress-free, budget-friendly holiday season. Happy saving!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this article about?

This article provides useful tips and strategies on budgeting and smart shopping for holiday gift-giving. It also discusses the pros and cons of online and in-store shopping and introduces how technology can help maximize savings.

How can I effectively budget for holiday gift-giving?

Start by setting a predetermined budget factoring in all your expected expenses. Also, it’s important to plan your shopping ahead of time and stick to your budget to avoid financial strain.

What are some smart shopping tips for holiday gifts?

Smart shopping tips include maximizing savings through strategic planning and careful decision-making. Consider sales and discounts, use online platforms for price comparison, and explore DIY gift options.

What are the benefits of online and in-store holiday shopping?

Online shopping offers convenience, exclusive discounts, comparison shopping, user reviews, and a wide variety of products. In contrast, in-store shopping provides a personal touch, immediate purchase, and possible exclusive store sales.

How can I use technology for extra savings during holiday gift shopping?

Engage technologies such as shopping apps, websites, and rewards programs. These platforms can provide access to discounts, promo codes, cash back, and reward points, enhancing the efficiency of your budgeting and saving efforts.


Author Profile

Kathy Hardtke
Kathy Hardtke
I am thrilled to have been invited to blog about my experiences trading stock and options with Rich Dad.  Since 1998, when I picked up my first Rich Dad book “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, I have been hooked on Robert and Kim’s philosophies on becoming financially free through investing.  Their books and courses have changed my life as well as my daughter’s life, whom I am now teaching all I have learned about trading stock and options.

My experience has been in the real estate and finance industry for 20 years.  I was a Realtor with ERA, a Mortgage Loan Officer with Bank of America, and a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley.  Each time I chose a career that I thought I would get “the inside track” on investing and each time I learned it was just a “job”, although very good job and I was lucky enough to enjoy my career.  Simply put, these jobs would only get me a paycheck but never take me to financial freedom and the dreams and lifestyle I was looking to achieve.

With that said, I have no desire to make millions to have expensive “things” but I do have a dream to not only become financially free for myself and my family but also for others.  I started an organization called GROW Africa to help others.  We build wells in the farthest reaches of the earth in the bush of Zambia.  The women and children have to walk up to 4 hours each way to carry as much water as they can carry back.  I thought that was such a basic human need, that I felt I needed to do something about it, and did.

What is super cool about the training I received through Rich Dad Education on trading stocks and options is, now that I am educated on the Rich Dad stock trading system, I can trade anywhere in the world, including while I am in remote Africa building wells, providing water for those with little or none, as long as I have a power source and a satellite internet card.  Now that is freedom!

I am looking forward to sharing my experiences about trading stocks and options and walking with you on the path to financial freedom.  This is a process of building your wealth consistently over time, then passing it on to your children creating generational wealth.  I wish you all success and can’t wait to hear some of your stories of success as time ticks on!

Leave a Comment