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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.
The holidays are approaching, and everyone you know is searching for the best deals on gifts and trying to figure out how to avoid the stress that comes with this time of year.
If you want to enjoy more time and worry less about spending too much, check out these ideas to help you do both.
It doesn’t take a lot of money to make the holidays enjoyable — just a lot of creativity and fun.
1. Set a budget
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Most people don’t like the “budget” word — but if you decide how much you can spend, you are more likely to spend less.
2. Make a list
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Make a list of people they want to remember during the holidays and use the list to help plan how to spend.
Making a list of people and what you want to give them will keep you from buying more than you need. Instead of deciding on the gift first, decide on the dollar amount you want to spend, then find a gift that fits the bill.
3. Set a limit
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Many friends and families enjoy white elephant or secret Santa gift-giving. Set a limit on how much you will spend — as little as $5 works. Have a gift exchange and enjoy the fun.
4. Order online
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Save yourself time and money ordering online (but don’t be tempted to just point and click too quickly).
Think about how much you want to spend and then search online for items to fit your budget. Shop where you can get free shipping, too.
Tip: Put items in your cart and save them. Log out. You are likely to get an email from the retailer in the next day or two offering you free shipping if it wasn’t already available, and sometimes you’ll even get discounts on what is left in your cart. This happens frequently during holidays.
5. Give meaning
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When it comes to gifts, nothing is better than receiving a meaningful gift. Don’t spend a lot on things that will bring joy for just a few minutes.
Think about what means the most to the person. You may find that gifts that cost less are often the most meaningful.
6. Decorate with flair
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No one says you have to get caught up …….