Being generous is important. There’s no greater time of year to give than during the
holidays but it doesn’t take long for the list of opportunities to give to outgrow your
ability to be generous. Sometimes you’ve simply got to cut back. This can leave you
feeling guilty and fearful you’ll be perceived as a Scrooge.

There are plenty of great reasons to give and be generous, but your resources may not
always be as big as your heart. What can you do when you need to reduce your giving
without feeling horrible? Try these ideas out

Idea! Try reducing your overall gift-giving budget. If you are in the habit of giving
extravagant gifts, try reducing your price point per person to make the budget stretch.
Lowering your spending per person can help you give more without cutting out the
number of people you give to.

Idea! Give time rather than money. Giving gifts and making monetary donations comes
out of your bank account. Why not give the gift of time instead. Create coupon books
with vouchers for special time with friends and family. You can postpone your spending
until they cash in their coupons. Instead of making money donations to your favorite
charities, consider doing some volunteer work throughout the year to offer an equally
valuable resource.

Idea! Reassess your giving guidelines. Over time, you may find you are under pressure to
give gifts to an ever-growing list of friends and family. Times change and it’s ok to assess
and re-evaluate your giving guidelines. Some fun gift-giving guidelines could include
*Only buying gifts for kids under 16
*Doing a numbered gift exchange with adult family members
*Opting out of gift giving outside of immediate family
*Setting a spending cap on gifts

Once you’ve made the best decision for your family, rest assured that you can give
confidently without feeling like a Scrooge.

Idea! Get crafty with your giving. Try making gifts that have low cost investments. Body
scrubs, décor, and other DIY items can cost pennies to make but their personal touch
has great value. Search the web for fun do it yourself gifts you can make in bulk and give
to lots of people.

Christmas means something different to everyone who celebrates. There are no two
families experiencing the holiday the same. You must feel confident setting limits and
creating spending plans that make sense for you and your family’s finances. Be generous, but not to the point you face going into debt. Find fun ways to give without feeling stressed or like a Scrooge.