Gifts that won't break the budget

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Like I tell my husband, my birthday and Christmas fall on the same date every year.  Yet, somehow, there is always a last-minute scramble for gifts. Like so many of us who plan to get a jump start on Christmas shopping, our intentions are good and the execution leaves something to be desired. 

If you joined us in October for the Trail Blazers Holiday Event you learned my secret tips about planning ahead of time. If you missed it, that's ok. There are still plenty of opportunities.

Today we are going to talk about some gift ideas that will get you through this time of year with a little less stress and a little more shoe money..I mean Savings.

1) A Picture’s worth a thousand words. Create a photobook, scrapbook or a web-based platform full of pictures of all the good times you and gift recipient have had. There are fun and creative ways you can do this for under $30. 

2) Secret Recipe. Make the homemade treat and share the recipe. Maybe it is time to share granny's cake recipe; I'm talking to you Aunt Dee. Or just print the recipe on some pretty paper, frame it, wrap it and Presto. 

3) Do something rather than buy something...take time to learn what is important to them. What is an activity, a class or something new they have always wanted to try? It’s not often we treat ourselves to things we like to experience which makes it a great gift idea.

Bonus Tip: Starting in January, set up an automated deduction of $50/paycheck from your bank account into a separate savings account named ‘Holidays’. When December rolls around, you will have $1000+ sitting in that account that you can put towards gifts.

April Caldwell