For many people, the end of the year represents a time to give gifts to show their appreciation of their family and friends. It’s also a good time to give to those less fortunate. Here are some tips on smart giving.
Set a budget
Determine how much you can realistically afford to spend on gifts without going into debt.
Make a list of everyone you plan on giving a gift to and decide how much you want to spend on each person. Consider the charity or charities you want to give to and include them in your budget. Some charities allow you to give someone a gift that will benefit an individual or community.
Buying early means you can take advantage of sales and avoid the pressure of buying the wrong, and usually more expensive, gift because you’ve run out of time.
Look for savings and incentives
Try to shop online first as you’re less likely to impulse shop and can easily compare prices across various websites. You can also find discounts through online community classifieds such as daily deal sites.
Remember who you’re shopping for
When you’re shopping, it’s very easy to also find items that will be just perfect for you. If you really want to treat yourself, the Boxing Day sales are a great time to pick up a bargain.
Giving to those less fortunate
Not everyone can afford gifts or afford to celebrate the end of the year. During the festive season there are a number of ways you can give:
• A one-off donation to a charity – this option is much easier these days as many charities allow you to give online. Don’t forget that any donation over $2 is tax deductible.
• Giving to a charity as a gift – if you know someone who is passionate about a particular charity or cause, consider buying them a donation to a charity as a gift. Some charities allow you to buy seeds, animals or fresh water to help people in poverty.
• Starting a sponsorship – if you want to contribute more than a one-off donation, you might want to think about sponsoring a child. This can be for children either overseas or in Australia.
• Volunteering your time – if you want to give your time rather than money, volunteering is a smart way to give. If your company provides you with a volunteer day, make sure you use it before the year is up.
• Donating food or gifts – donating food or gifts is a good option to help families who are not as well off as you. Look out for opportunities to donate at work, schools or shopping centres.