Did you know 22% of Americans believe their holiday spending will leave them in debt? If you’re part of this quarter of Americans, or simply want to reign in your holiday spending, here are a few low cost gifts to consider for friends and family this year. Gifts don’t have to be expensive to be meaningful or bring joy to your friends and family, and that’s really what the holiday season is all about!

Low cost homemade holiday gifts

The best holiday gifts are the ones that come straight from the heart. Putting some time and thought into a homemade gift, such as one of the ideas below, doesn’t cost you much, but it will bring a smile to anyone who receives it:

  • Homemade crafts, like ornaments, candles, placemats, or decorations.
  • Baked goods, or dry mix in a jar that can be made later.
  • A homemade card with a thoughtful message (and you can throw in a gift card!).
  • A coupon book for acts of service, such as shoveling snow, making dinner or picking up groceries (all of which would be appreciated by many grandparents!).

Low cost get-your-finances-on-track holiday gifts 

If you have young investors in the family, or children who should start thinking about managing their own finances, or anyone else in your circle who would enjoy a gift that would help them get their finances in order, consider these options:

  • U.S. Savings Bonds, which can be purchased through the TreasuryDirect website. U.S. Savings Bonds are a lower-risk investment option and can be a great way to introduce the concept of investing for the future to children.
  • A piggy bank to help teach young children the concept of saving.
  • Fund a 529 college savings fund.
  • Stocks to a company the recipient knows well. Stock shares can be especially helpful for teenagers and young adults just beginning to invest but don’t have much money of their own to get started. Learn more about how to gift stocks

Low cost entertainment holiday gifts

Especially with families spending more time at home, some of these entertainment options will come in handy this winter!

  • Board games or puzzles, which can be enjoyed together by the whole family.
  • Subscriptions to magazines or streaming services.
  • Meal delivery services, which you can choose to pay for a few months in advance for a gift that keeps on giving!
  • An inspirational book for some cozy wintertime reading (you can even include a thoughtful inscription!)

Considering many friends and family may be wanting to cut down on holiday spending this year, consider starting a conversation about spending with your friends and family at the start of the holiday shopping season. Setting cost expectations early can help you get on the same page and avoid anxiety about gifting at widely varying price points.

Keeping costs down during the holiday season may not be easy, but you’ll certainly be thankful if you do once January rolls around!

Next steps:

  1. Watch this video for 4 Holiday Savings Tips.
  2. Subscribe to receive our e-newsletter.
  3. Check out the financial calculator below to determine the impact of saving more.