Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gift-giving season calls for resourcefulness

We post a daily financial tip on Twitter @family_finances. For the past week or so, we've been giving advice for the gift-giving season. The summer usually abounds with invitations for graduation parties, weddings and other similar occasions. Keep your purchases reasonable. Here are all of the Twitter tips gathered into one spot.

- Gift season is approaching. Graduations, weddings. Don’t overspend. Your gift won’t be remembered in a few years, but your presence will.

- Gift cards are a nice gift, but watch the fees. Keep your receipt; they don’t always work.

- Don’t go into debt to buy someone a gift, even for your own children. Buy what you can afford.

- Store wrapping for gifts is sometimes free. Skip it if it’s not. Seriously, you can wrap your own gift.

- Look for sales now for gifts you’ll need to give in a few months. People spend the most when purchases are impulsive.

- When buying for children, be sure to ask for sizes before you purchase. Don’t make someone return something. That’s a pain.

- Think about buying for Christmas now. If you spend the next six months or so looking casually, you may find the best bargains.

- For a graduate, think about a great book on finances as a gift. If they’re going out on their own for the first time, that’s information they need.

- For a young couple getting married, a great gift is a check. They’ll get plenty of vases and trinkets. Think practical.

- For a new grandchild, consider opening an account to pay for their college. Every time you get the urge to buy them a toy, instead, contribute.

- For a housewarming, consider a card with a certificate good for free lawn-mowing, house-washing or other service. They’ll need the help.

- A gift of time is priceless to someone who has their hands full with children. Free babysitting is always a great gift.

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