Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Out of the Box Holiday Gifts: 5 Tips for Financial Success

Some years, when it is time to give gifts, it is also time to maximize your savings. That's just the nature of up and down cycles. So when you want to save financially but still participate in gift exchanges, why not give some out of the box gifts? These sometimes involve no money, or can save you a lot of money when you do make a purchase. The principle is to give thoughtful gestures. These gestures can take on the form of one-on-one or digital interactions. The key is to make the gift unique and well suited to the recipient.

1. Save money by giving a free electronic book as a thoughtful, and meaningful gift. You can read it together, then blog about it online later. Select a title that is either uniquely funny or uniquely fitting for the recipient.

2. You can also use your money wisely by giving it directly as a gift. Money can be sent digitally from one person to another quickly and easily. This way you both benefit. Your recipient gets the money, and you are able to at least keep your money circulation among the people you live and work with. Up to a certain limit, gifts of money are not taxed.

3. How about giving of your time? This is the most valuable thing you have, and thus the most valuable thing you can give. Give someone the gift of time by making time for them. Be sure to spend quality time together. Go on that trip you've been putting off. See that event or make that lunch date. Invest time in your friend.

4. Teach something to your friend. We all have something that we alone have learned. Share that unique part of yourself that will teach your friend something useful or touching. Perhaps you know a good trick on identifying good stocks. Why not share that as a gift? Perhaps you know a special trick on how to hike a trail, or keep your house clean. The range of possibilities is infinite when it comes to what we can teach each other, but one good topic is frequently money management. Share your tips and ideas on how to balance the home budget, where to shop, and how to invest.

5. Finally, you can do some manual labor for your gift recipient. There are lots of small jobs that we all need to get done. Usually, these are more a matter of time and not difficulty. By giving the gift of cleaning up some of these things from a person's chore list will take a huge load off of the gift recipient. They will be truly grateful, and you will have given a gift that saved everyone some money.

These out of the box ideas bring out the true meaning of exchanging gifts. We desire to give a personal gift, from the heart, to someone we care about. It's the thought that counts, and you can do this without breaking the bank or even spending any money at all.