Gift-giving possibilities that do not include going broke!

Is holiday gift-giving while maintaining a healthy, on-track budget really possible?

With Christmas quickly approaching, many of you may be stressing about the costs that come with the holiday season. From work and school parties to multiple family obligations, you may be wondering how you will pay for it all. This year why not consider setting spending limits or participate in other budget-friendly approaches to ensure that you do not find yourself in major debt by the new year. There are many options to help make your holiday parties more affordable if you’re willing to be creative.

Try hosting a present swap or any of the following budget-friendly ideas:

Secret Santa – Everyone who wants to take part enters their name into a drawing. Each person draws a name and secretly shops for that person. At the holiday swap party, each person opens their present and must try to guess who their secret Santa is. This is a great budget-friendly way to take part in holiday parties at work or at home. One idea to help the secret Santa is to include a few items that you would like to receive on the paper with your name.

White Elephant – Each participant brings a wrapped present to the holiday party [a purchase limit can be set]. All participants draw a number to determine in what order they will choose a present. To start, the player who drew the number 1 will pick any desired present from the table and open it.  The second person will then do the same, however, the second person has the right to choose whether they want to keep their gift or swap it with number one. The third person will then go. This time the person can either keep their gift or swap it for one of the other opened gifts. This continues until all the participants have gone. Once the last person has kept or swap their gift, then it goes back to player one [this is the best number to get]. Player one then gets to decide if they want to keep the gift they have in their possession or swap it for any of the open gifts. This is a great way to keep the party entertaining!

Musical presents – For this game, each participant brings a wrapped gift [again set a purchase limit]. The players sit in a circle, holding on to a present. As the music plays, the players pass the presents around until the music stops. Once the music stops the gift that you are holding is the gift you keep.

Nearly everyone loves the holiday season with all its beauty, fun, and festivities, but keep in mind no budget should suffer permanent damage for one day of gift-giving. There are many ways in which you can make each dollar worth more by being creative and having the willingness to think outside the box. At New Dimensions FCU, we want to see you succeed in having a prosperous year ahead. Let us help you set up a holiday budget that works for you and your family. You will start the year on track versus wondering which New Year’s Resolution will magically pay those credit card bills. For an appointment or for more money-saving holiday ideas, contact Carrielyn Reynolds, Financial Education Coordinator, by email at or by phone (800) 326-6190.