The holiday season is meant to be a time of joy. But spending too much on gifts – and adding to debt – can leave you feeling down.

One of the easiest ways to overspend during the holidays is gift shopping without a plan. Check out this Dollars and Sense blog post, which offers tips on how to plan and hold the line on your Christmas shopping. Here are some other ideas that can help you save and enjoy the season of giving.

Reduce Gift Spending:

Agree with family members on a spending limit for gifts

  • This year, buy gifts for kids only
  • Draw names for gifts. Chances are they’re already thinking the same thing and will be glad you suggested it.

And while you’re buying fewer gifts, invest more time and thought into finding more meaningful gifts. That is, gifts that appeal to your friends’ or family members’ personal tastes and interests. This shows you’re thinking of them, not just going through the motions of buying random gifts.

Take Advantage of Saving Opportunities: Retail Holidays

  • Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving
  • The online answer to Black Friday – Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving
  • Green Monday, the second Monday of December – this year, December 11
  • Free Shipping Day, scheduled this year for Friday, Dec. 15. More than a thousand retailers, large and small, participate to provide free shipping and promising delivery by Christmas Eve.
  • Super Saturday, the Saturday before Christmas. If you can wait until then, some retailers do offer last-minute specials.

How do you save on holiday gift-giving? Tell us on our Facebook page.