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8 More Good Gifts for Christmas and the Holidays That Don't Cost A Lot, Part 2

by Team Sammy

Gift Giving Tips

In Part 1 of this series, we shared six great Christmas and holiday gifts that don't cost a lot.

Gift tips included:

  • Homemade chocolate chip cookie mix in a jar from Natalyn Jannene

  • Carefully washed recyclables from Karen Holland

  • Personalized photo calendar from Jeff Tybruski

  • A car care package for safe travels from Juli Lewis

  • A unique book for kids that shares wisdom from Napoleon Hill by Elisabeth Donati

  • Game recommendations that help kids understand money from Brent T. Boden

In Part 2, we will share eight more great cost-effective gift giving tips from community leaders around the world. So, as Sammy Rabbit says, "Let's do it. Let's get to it!"

7) Dr. Kate Mielitz, Olympia WA

My tip for holiday gift ideas that don't cost a lot: I'm the world's biggest fan of "coupons" for continuing the holiday cheer throughout the year!

1. Got dogs? Got family members that do? I have 4 and it's a LOT of work!  What about a weekly arrangement to play fetch with the dogs for at least 30 minutes? Or, washing the dogs, taking them on a walk, cleaning up after them? 

2. A Walk A Week! Arrange to walk with a family member (or friend) every week. Taking a walk with a friend or loved one throughout the year gives everyone something to look forward to, and it's a very healthy habit!

Dr. Mielitz is the AFC® Program Manager for Beyond Finance. She is also a Sammy Rabbit All-Star Reader, having read the book "Those Shoes!" by Maribeth Boetz. Connect with Kate on LinkedIn. Contact us if you would like to be a featured reader.

8) Jamie Bosse, Manhattan, KS

I have few tips to choose from:

1.  You can do a craft project together, like making ornaments for the Christmas Tree or a decoration for someone's house.

I love this because you are spending time together and making something fun for very little cost.  You can make a snowman out of jars, an ornament out of a toilet paper roll, or something fun with just a paper plate and some paint!

2.  You can plan a fun game night together.

Sometimes, the best gift is spending time together, not from something you buy.  Schedule time with a friend or family member so that you have a fun game night or experience together.  You might drive around and look at Christmas lights, share a meal, or do a game or movie night.

3.  You can bake something as a gift or make them a meal.

People always feel special when you make food for them.  Baking cookies, breads, or a meal is a great way to say you care and it doesn't cost a lot!

Jamie is a CFP® and Wealth Manager at Aspyre Wealth Partners. She is the creator and author of the Milton the Money Savvy Pup series of books. And she too, is a Sammy Rabbit All-Star Reader, having read her book, "Milton the Money Savvy Pup!"

9) Sharita M. Humphrey, CFEI, Houston, TX

My first tip is to create memorable experiences. That is what my family does every other holiday season. We opt out of purchasing gifts. Instead of buying individual gifts for every child, we pick a kid-friendly trip using budget-friendly platforms like Groupon, LivingSocial, and Hopper.

My second tip is to consider DIY craft kits as gifts. They are also budget-friendly. They spark creativity and can provide hours of entertainment.

Sharita is an award-winning business and personal finance literacy consultant. You can discover more about her at Sharita is also a period Sammy Rabbit guest columnist and blogger. Contact us if you would like to be featured.

10) Gerri Detweiler, Sarasota, FL

My first tip is to consider hosting a holiday party for kids. When my daughter was younger, I would do this on a Saturday a few weeks before Christmas. 6-8 of my daughter's friends would spend the day with me baking, decorating, and playing in the pool (we lived in Florida!). This had a double benefit. It also gave the kids' parents time to go shopping. I have wonderful memories from those days, and I'm thrilled that her friends do too.

Gerri is a credit expert, author and writer. You can discover more about her at Gerri

11) Dalene Higgins, Provo, UT

My tip is to contribute to an automated saving, investment, or bill pay account for the individuals. If they do not have one, encourage and/or assist in helping them establish one.

My thinking is straightforward. Automation is power with money. Automatic transfers to savings ensure that your important financial goals are consistently addressed without requiring constant effort. Automatic bills pay (through bank or vendor) limit and possibly avoid decision fatigue around money.

Dalene is a financial coach for Gen Xers. You can discover more about her at Elevate Finances. Dalene has also been featured in Sammy's Childhood Money Memory Interview Series. Contact us if you would like to be featured.

12) Patricia Roberts, J. D., New York, NY

My tip is to make a contribution of any size to a 529 college savings account for a child you love. It is a thoughtful and future-oriented gift that won't be outgrown. 

After all, it can take a village to get a child to and through higher education, and a gift of this type can grow in value and be tremendously helpful down the line. It is an easy gift to give and demonstrates to your gift recipient that you believe in them and support their academic and career dreams, whatever they may be. 

While there are various ways to give a gift to 529 college savings accounts, one approach is to purchase a Gift of College gift card available in denominations of $25-$200 online or in various retail stores like CVS across the U.S. The recipient's parents can then redeem the gift card into a new or existing 529 plan of their choosing. 

Patricia is the Chief Operating Officer at Gift of College and author of the book, "Route 529: A Parent's Guide to Saving for College and Career Training with 529 Plans." Patricia has also been featured in Sammy's Childhood Money Memory Interview Series.

13) Doug Nordman & Carol Pittner, Honolulu, HI

Our tip is to give kids small amounts of money as a holiday gift that they can take care of and manage themselves. Have a conversation with them and help them imagine the possibilities of what they can do.

We have found that kids build their financial literacy by learning how to handle their money and make choices with it.  

We also recommend borrowing our book from your local public library! A library card is the best gift a kid can get.

Doug and Carol are the authors of "Raising Your Money-Savvy Family For Next Generation Financial Independence!"

14) Katherine T. Chatmon, Anniston, AL

My tip is to prioritize shared experiences. Gift cards for a restaurant, ice cream party, or movie night are a few ideas. And if you want to invest a little extra, what about a spa certificate?

Experiences allow the chance to make lasting memories and reduce clutter. Sit and think: how many holiday gifts are collecting dust in your home now?

Katherine is a financial wellness coach and founder of Bridg3 Financial Boutique. You can discover more about her on LinkedIn at: Katherine Tyeshia Chatmon. Katherine has also been featured in Sammy's Childhood Money Memory Podcast Series.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Integrating these tips into your family's holiday customs is a wonderful way to mark the season while fostering a sense of savvy stewardship and fiscal responsibility!

Related Reading

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