It’s prime Christmas shopping season and the time you desperately need a personal budget software! Although I’m more of a ‘week before Christmas’ shopper, many people I know are out hunting for the perfect gift. Here are some ideas for keeping your Christmas shopping in line with your budget and perhaps, some innovative and inexpensive ideas.

My family has a great tradition between my 2 brothers and my father to make the most-difficult-to-open gift. This typically involved steel, concrete, wire coat-hangers, and other assorted impervious materials. Often the costs of “wrapping” the gift can exceed the cost of the gift itself, but the joy of opening the gift is exceedingly great. We use old recycling things, such as old broken computers… as evidenced by my joy in opening 2006’s gift from my brother.

We often end up giving each other tools that we can use to open the gifts but also use throughout the year.

In previous years, in order for the adults to continue with gift exchange fun, we selected 1 random name amongst the adults so each adult buys only for 1 other adult. This way, we can get a more meaningful gift since we can spend more on 1 person than on, say, 7. This year, we’re trying something different since several of us are watching our budget closely. We thought we could all pool a small amount of money together and buy a great game that we can play together. After Christmas, the game will stay at one house, but any of us can borrow it whenever we like to use it with our own family/friends. With the savings from this, we can buy some nice things for the kids.

More savings ideas for Christmas gifts that a personal budget software can track

Some other ideas are:

  • Especially for kids – thrift stores like “Dollar Stores”. You can get lots of items for under $10-$15
  • rather than get a gift item, buy them an experience, such as a musical (can be expensive), or something like… glow-in-the-dark indoor mini-put.
  • Gift certificates to the movie theater
  • Homemade gifts. I did this last year with my brother. I made an amazing 3D yin-yang design out of nails on wood… however, I under-estimated the time it would take to complete it. I had to give him only a partially completed project and keep it until I finished it weeks later. When it was finished it was a very unique piece of art. But, be careful to plan sufficient time to complete a homemade gift – and make it awesome!
  • There are always things in your re-gifting pile you can use for co-w0rkers or other acquaintances.
  • My wife just made a gift today for a $1… a very decorative jar of pre-measured out ingredients for “Love Soup” (containing beef broth, lentils, barley, rice, macaroni, soup base and seasonings … and a cute little poem to tell the receiver how to make the soup). You combine all this in a canning jar and decorate the lid. It turns out to be a quick easy meal for the receiver and could easily be left on the counter as art. Some of the supplies came from a friend, but made in bulk it makes the cost of 1 jar and contents cheaper.

Any other ideas?

Meaningful Christmas gifts do not have to break your budget for the month.  The CalendarBudget online budget tool is an easy way for even young professionals to make sure they have enough money at the end of the year for the best gifts.  Give yourself the gift of financial security with the CalendarBudget personal budget software.

We often end up giving each other tools which we can use to open the gifts but also use throughout the year.

In previous years, in order for the adults to continue with gift exchange fun, we selected 1 random name amongst the adults so each adult buys only for 1 other adult. This way, we can get a more meaningful gift since we can spend more on 1 person than on, say, 7. This year, we’re trying something different since several of us are watching our budget closely. We thought we could all pool a small amount of money together and buy a great game that we can play together. After Christmas, the game will stay at one house, but any of us can borrow it whenever we like to use it with our own family/friends. With the savings from this, we can buy some nice things for the kids.

Some other ideas are:

  • Especially for kids – thrift stores like “Dollar Stores”. You can get lots of items for under $10-$15
  • rather than get a gift item, buy them an experience, such as a musical (can be expensive), or something like… glow-in-the-dark indoor mini-put.
  • Gift certificates to the movie theater
  • Homemade gifts. I did this last year with my brother. I made an amazing 3D yin-yang design out of nails on wood… however I under-estimated the time it would take to complete it. I had to give him only a partially complete project and keep it until I finished it weeks later. When it was finished it was a very unique piece of art. But, be careful to plan sufficient time to complete a homemade gift – and make it awesome!
  • There are always things in your re-gifting pile you can use for co-w0rkers or other acquaintances.
  • My wife just made a gift today for a $1… a very decorative jar of pre-measured out ingredients for “Love Soup” (containing beef broth, lentils, barley, rice, macaroni, soup base and seasonings … and a cute little poem to tell the receiver how to make the soup). You combine all this in a canning jar and decorate the lid. It turns out to be a quick easy meal for the receiver and could easily be left on the counter as art. Some of the supplies came from a friend, but made in bulk it makes the cost of 1 jar and contents cheaper.

Any other ideas?