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If you still feel like you’ve got a huge list of last-minute Christmas presents you need to buy, take a look at who you’ve got on that list now. Do you really need to buy a gift for your husband’s great-aunt? What about your boss or even your next-door neighbour? Christmas is all about giving, but make sure you stay realistic for the sake of your finances.

If you find that you struggle every year to afford gifts for everyone on your list, then it may be time to make some cutbacks. We’re not talking your children here, simply the people that you feel an obligation to buy for but think you don’t really need to. To help you to cut down on who you buy for this Christmas, here’s a few helpful tips:

Let them know

If you’re thinking about cutting back on who you buy for, it’s important that you let your loved ones know so that they don’t buy you anything in return. You could simply have a chat with them about it or use Money Saving Expert’s NUPP email to help explain it for you.

You never know, they could be in a similar situation themselves and be grateful that you broached the subject first!

Give something meaningful

Just because you’re agreeing to not buy each other gifts this year, it doesn’t mean that you can’t spread a little festive cheer. Whether it’s a promise to babysit for your friend one night, bake your grandmother her favourite chocolate chip cookies or promise your next door neighbour to weed their garden for them, showing someone you care doesn’t have to mean spending money.

To present your gift to a friend or loved one, print off Money Saving Expert’s Christmas Cheques or design a personalised one yourself!

Set a limit

If you still want to give your loved ones a gift this Christmas, set a spending limit to help you stick to a budget. You could decide to spend no more than £10 or £5 and if anyone spends more than this, at least you won’t feel that you have to do the same.

As you can’t buy much with a budget like this, you’ll need to get creative with the gifts that you give. If your loved one likes to give something back, you could make a donation to a charity in their name. Many charities have their own gift catalogues, so you could choose something a bit more specific like a mosquito net or blanket to donate – see World Vision and Oxfam for examples of what you could donate in a loved one’s name.

Secret Santa

Alternatively, you could suggest a Secret Santa draw with your friends or extended family members. This will ensure that you all receive a gift on the day, without having to buy an individual present for each person.

Again, it would be wise to set a spending limit when doing this (£10 is typically the standard amount) and it could be an ideal thing to do with family members, friends or work colleagues. Still looking for ideas on what to get a Secret Santa this year? Follow our guide.

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