Assorted wrapped gifts in multiple colors.

The (Budget-Friendly) Joy of Gift Giving

We all like to know we’ve brightened the day of someone we love and care for. Choosing to spend a little extra money on a gift for someone special may seem like it’s worth it right now, but if you have to deviate from your budget, then it might not be the best idea in the long-run.

Luckily, there’s plenty of ways to give something that’s sure to be appreciated while also staying within your budget. We’ve compiled a few ideas to help you do just that!

Give ‘em some coupons 

No, not the ones sent out with the newspaper for toilet paper, kitchen appliances, and the like. Make your own coupon booklet of things the recipient can redeem whenever. If it’s for an immediate family member or roommate, make a few coupons volunteering yourself to do the chores you know they like to do the least, such as mowing the lawn or dusting the house from top to bottom. If it’s for a friend or significant other, make one for a home-cooked meal where they pick the menu and you do the cooking. Get creative and brainstorm quality time activities and favors, write them up on some cardstock, and assemble into a flipbook.

DIY personalized cookbook

For the chef, baker, or mixologist in your life, compile recipes you think they’d like or family favorites. If they have a favorite food of all time, you could do a section specific for that – or even make the entire book just recipes with whatever their guilty pleasure is.

Give the gift of music

It could be a playlist of their favorite songs, music you think they’d like based on their tastes, or songs significant to your relationship with them. If you happen to have the gift of making music yourself, whether singing or playing an instrument, consider making a few recordings of yourself. Parents who have funded any or all of your musical endeavors might be particularly appreciative of that twist!

Gifts in a jar

The possibilities are endless with this idea. Whatever their hobby might be, whether it’s crafting or drawing or baking or something else entirely, gather up some small items that relate to it and put them in a jar. Finish it off with some decorative touches, and voilà! The Gunny Sack has some additional ideas for potential themes for your jar gift.

For the reader in your life… 

You can never go wrong with gifting them a book in an area of interest to them. However, books aren’t necessarily the cheapest purchase. A more budget-friendly idea is to compile a “Must Read” list of either your favorite books or the results of some searching for new reads you think they might like. Or, you could even coordinate a book swap of one of your favorites with one of theirs! 

A little thoughtfulness goes a long way in conveying your care for someone this holiday season–and toward keeping your budget intact!


Spending less is just the first part of a successful financial plan. Put away the money you saved on the holidays into a savings account for future expenses. Those with a savings plan are twice as likely to save successfully. Let Military Saves help you reach your savings and debt reduction goals. It all starts when you make a commitment to yourself to save.

TAKE THE PLEDGE


Gift-giving doesn't have to be a budget buster this holiday season. Here's how: http://bit.ly/2BksEqt 

Tweet this now

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Katie Bryan | November 29, 2013

    Transferring #money from #checking to #savings is the fastest way to #save $500 - $1,000 >> http://ow.ly/e7ClM

Saver Stories View all »

60 Teens participate in Massachusetts Youth Saves Program

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

During the months of June & July, 60 teenagers aged 13-19 from Marine, Coast Guard, Army, and Air Force families attended Youth Saves programs across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to help increase their knowledge of financial literacy.

Read more...

Making Savings a Part of Marriage

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

Capt. Rob Eckhardt is the first to admit that he hasn’t always been responsible with money. But less than 10 years after a rocky start to saving, Eckhardt reports that he and his wife are free from credit card debt, have a down payment on a home, and are saving regularly for retirement. And, as the Military Saves representative for his Air Force squadron, he’s helping others make similar progress.

Read more...

Savers Pledge Leads to Savings Success

Written by Super User | October 13, 2011

My name is Rob and I am a Staff Sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve. My financial success is a huge result of the Military Saves Campaign.

My journey began five years ago after marrying my wife, Lisa. We entered our marriage with no savings plan in sight, carrying debt and living in a tiny apartment. After seeing an advertisement for Military Saves, we decided to grab the reigns of our finances and implement a positive financial plan.

Read more...