Santa Savings: How Much You Should Spend On Christmas Gifts

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Don't stress about shopping this holiday season!

Nothing ruins the magical feeling of Christmastime quite like the stress involved in gift-giving. If you've got multiple friends, family, and co-workers on your list, figuring out what to buy and how much to spend can be overwhelming.

You've probably already asked yourself: "How much did I spend on Becky last year? How much did Becky spend on me? What does she even want? Do I even like her enough to buy her a present?"

Stop stressing about shopping! Simply put, there are no concrete rules about how much to spend on holiday presents for everyone in your life.

Rather, you should be basing all your gift-giving decisions off of your budget. The last thing you want to ring the New Year in with is debt.

Keeping your own personal budget in mind, here's a guide on what to buy for everyone from Grandma Patty to Bob in Accounting.

CO-WORKERS

Keep co-worker gifts modest and under $20. And don't play favorites. If your office is participating in Secret Santa or White Elephant gift exchange, follow the rules and don't go over the maximum dollar amount set. Remember you can decline to participate — you won't lose your job.

FRIENDS

Feel free to give more distant friends or acquaintances a simple card. For close friends, stick to a sentimental gift between $30 and $50. Don't feel pressured to match or outspend what they spent on you last year — your friendship should not be a competition.

SIGNIFICANT OTHER

If you've only been dating someone for a few months, spend between $20 and $25. For newer but more committed relationships, $50 to $100 is a good range. For long-term or married couples, focus more on quality and value than a specific dollar amount.

PARENTS

Here you also want to focus more on quality and value than a specific dollar amount. Parents will appreciate anything thoughtful.

GRANDPARENTS

Get a thoughtful gift for grandma and grandpa that shows you listen to their stories and value their presence in your life. Don't worry about the dollar amount.

CHILDREN

Only you can know for sure how much you can afford to spend, depending on how many children you have, your income, etc. Focus on giving them a magical holiday season without losing the reason for the season and spoiling them too much.

EVERYONE ELSE

For aunts, uncles, siblings, stepmothers and all the other gift recipients on your list this holiday season, stay under $10 to $20. You can also save money buy giving them something home-made.


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