Christmas gifts under the tree. (Photo courtesy of

by Margaret Okakpu

Christmas is right around the corner and finding the right gifts can be stressful, not to mention expensive. Have no fear! There are tons of ways to get great gifts without breaking the bank and going crazy.

Set a budget and stick to it!

Deciding how much you can afford to spend is important. Having a budget will help you regulate how much you can spend per person. Knowing your limits will help keep you focused and not overspend.

Prioritize your gift giving!

It’s crucial to decide who gets the big gifts and who gets the smaller ones. Whether it’s for family, close friends, or colleagues, deciding who you want to get more elaborate gifts for will save you money and time.

Don’t sweat the small things!

Small gifts can be just as thoughtful as the big ones. It’s all about balance. Think candles, lotions, or chocolates. These are great gifts for someone you know but maybe aren’t that close with. Great stores to hit: Yankee Candle, Bath and Body Works, and Lindt Chocolates.

Big, Bigger and Biggest!

For the more elaborate gifts, find the happy medium between what you know a person likes and what you’re willing to spend. Shopping for a brother or boyfriend? Think video games or clothes. New games usually go for $60 plus tax and if you’re unsure of which one to get, you can always get a gift card for that amount! Wondering what to get mom? Think jewelry or perfume. Sephora has a perfume sampler that is $60 dollars for 14 samples, which might seem a little steep, but included inside is a certificate that allows you to get your favorite of the scents in a full size bottle for no extra cost! It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Divide and conquer!

Getting gift sets are great opportunities to get multiple gifts in one setting. Buying a set of lip glosses or perfume and such can serve more than just one person! Ulta has the Michael Kors Collection perfume set, which has 3 different perfumes at 0.24 oz for $40. That can be three separate gifts for the price of one! An awesome deal for an awesome price!

When in doubt, gift card it out!

Gift cards are awesome. Whether you give a $5 gift card or a $25 gift card, it’s money that won’t be coming out of the recipients pocket! You can give your parents a gift card to a nice restaurant, or get one for your best friend from their favorite store. And if you aren’t sure where someone likes to shop, go with a Visa gift card. Check with your bank first, some banks will give you a gift card at no charge if you have an account with them!