Communicating a Gift Reduction to Family

Thinking of spending less on holiday gifts this year? You’re not alone. According to NerdWallet’s annual holiday shopping report, about a quarter of shoppers have had or plan to have a conversation with friends or family members about reducing spending on holiday gifts. While it might be reassuring to know that others are also cutting back, it can still be uncomfortable to dial things back, especially if you end up receiving more extravagant gifts than you planned on giving.

Psychotherapist Adrine Davtyan, LCSW, emphasizes the emotional impact of scaling back on gift-giving. She acknowledges that reducing holiday gift expenditures can affect self-esteem, self-worth, and self-image. Despite this, she encourages prioritizing financial well-being and not feeling guilty about setting boundaries on gift spending.

To avoid uncomfortable gift exchanges, Davtyan advises being honest and vulnerable with loved ones as soon as possible about your decision to cut back on gifts. It’s important to communicate any recent costly events that may be influencing your holiday spending cap, and to do so with an authentic and heartfelt tone.

Financial advisor Elle Hall-Coleman, MBA, suggests being intentional about how much you spend on gifts to meet your personal financial goals. She recommends setting boundaries and expectations with loved ones to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Looking to minimize spending on gifts without skimping on holiday fun? Hall-Coleman offers practical advice such as shortening your overall gift list, focusing on meaningful experiences, and shifting the emphasis from monetary value to genuine thoughtfulness in gift-giving.

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Ultimately, it’s important to give yourself grace when it comes to budgeting for holiday gifts. Money is fluid, and setting a holiday fund for future years can be a proactive way to alleviate financial stress during the holiday season. Despite a tight budget, it’s possible to enjoy the holidays without overspending.

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