What kind of gift giver are you?


The Over Gifter

1. To prevent overspending, the key is to know your numbers and stick to a spending plan. This means allocating a certain amount of money for all of your holiday purchases. Know how much you have to work with and don't go beyond that number.

2. Know who is essential to buy for this holiday. What you may realize is that co-workers and friends you only see once in a blue moon might not make the cut for the amount of money you have available. So within your workplace or group of friends or family, consider doing a Secret Santa gift exchange where you only have to buy for one person instead of several - that way everyone walks away with a present without breaking the bank.

The Self Gifter

1. Don't hit the stores alone. If you know you are tempted to spend on yourself, seek out a friend to become your shopping accountability buddy who will not let you veer away from your list.

2. Set clear timelines for how much time you have to spend shopping. The less time you are in a store, the less likely you are to overspend. So even consider setting up appointments or lunch dates that you have to make it to so that you have a firm window of time to get your shopping completed.

The Big Ticket Gifter

1. With big ticket items you may be eligible for free add-ons. Whether it's free batteries, maintenance or an extended warranty or accessory - all it takes is asking a simple question, "Is there anything you can include additionally with this purchase?" One Smart Cookie just got herself a free car speaker installation just by asking this question.

2. Before buying at any one online retailer around the holidays, be sure to do a quick online search for additional discounts or promo codes. This can be as simple as searching sites like retailmenot.com or simply entering the name of the store you are buying from along with the term "coupon" into your search engine. We've found everything from an additional 30% off to free shipping and gift wrapping.

The Creative Gifter

1. Try creating a personalized photo book online - you can upload photos and format them in no time, and even include a customized note!

2. Give the gift of an experience that keeps on giving. Is there a training course or class you know someone on your list has always talked about taking? Give the gift of a creative skill building class or lesson, like yoga teacher training, an abstract painting class, or photography lessons. And who knows, with this gift, you may help uncover a talent or skill that could end up becoming a new income stream for a lucky person on your list. Nothing says happy holidays like making more dough!

The Last Minute Gifter

1. Visit your nearest 24 hr drug or superstore that offers a selection of fragrances, lotions and magazines. Put together a gift package with a friend or family member's favorite magazine, treats and beauty products - it can be a simple yet thoughtful way to give a gift without having to plan in advance.

2. Leverage the power of 24/7 shopping online by ordering a one year subscription to a loved ones favorite magazine, print out the logo with delivery date and put it in a holiday greeting card/envelope

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