Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, Eid and all other occasions call for not only your presence but gifts as well. Our vibrant personal and social lives make such occasions a common occurrence but can become a slight financial burden. Therefore, while planning your finances, it’s important to budget in such expenses which are commonly over looked.

Apart from the gift, an evening out during a birthday or a wedding comes with additional costs like food, transportation or attire. Overlooking the total cost can potentially set you back on your monthly budget. However, with a crash course on the art of gift giving, save money, stick to your budget and give thoughtful gifts.

Give great presents

As amazing as it is to get expensive presents, thoughtful gifts can also be as exciting to the person receiving them. As a gift giver, observation, creativity, personalization and planning can make your present as special as any other, regardless of the monetary value.

Observe: Good present don’t have to be expensive. With a little attention to details you can figure out numerous things the gift receiver may like and won’t be heavy on your wallet. Therefore, look, listen and remember.

Be Creative: Skip the usual gifts, be creative. Don’t opt for easy options such as gift vouchers and chocolates. Put a little effort and thought into your gift and stand out while saving your money.

Personalize: Add personal touches to the gift through the packaging and greeting card, increasing its value.

Plan ahead: Probably the most important trick to giving a fabulous present and saving money. Few ideas include picking up extra buys during sales , bulk buy wrapping paper or during a holiday, buy some traditional or exotic accessories to later hand out as presents. Check if your credit card gives offers and discounts at stores which you can take advantage of. Cardholders can enjoy up to 40% discounts at spas, restaurants, retail stores and more.

Themed gifts

One way to make a present special is to create a theme. The theme itself will add value to your gift. For example, if you are giving a gift to a friend who likes to travel, get them a passport holder along with a travel journal or maybe a guide to an exotic destination. Complete the gift with wrapping it up in a paper or  world map. Such a present will show how you pay attention to their likes and hobbies but also cost approximately $50 to $60.

Personalize your present

Personalizing your presents can be as simple as getting a t-shirt or mug printed or with an inside joke or a quote by a favorite personality of the person receiving the gift.  Depending on the print technology or the number of characters, approximate cost could be $21 to $35. Personalize your anniversary gift, by getting a key chain designed with a drawing made by your kids.

Other personal touches which could cost you almost nothing is adding homemade goodies or treats along with another present. For example, get a basket and pack it with edible and non-edible gifts and treats. So, for your favorite aunt, buy a cook book, along with oven mitts, some cookies and a jar of home-made jam, all costing you under $50.

Personalize and save by making your own wrapping paper. Buy sheet of plain wrapping paper and use paint stamps your kids handy art work to decorate the paper.

The Eid jar

A handy trick to save on giving money gifts during Eid is making small cash jars. Buy small to medium sized cash jars and fill them up with all sorts of coins. You can even include the occasional five dollar bill or perhaps a sweet treat. Add a personal touch to the jar with a ribbon or a label printed at home for free. This way you can save while making the act of giving money more exciting.

These are just a few ideas on how you can get personal and creative with your gifts and not break the bank at the same time.