10 Affordable Gift Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

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Woman wearing Santa hat wrapping gifts.

Image source: Getty Images

You can continue to honor your budget while shopping for gifts this holiday season.


Key points

  • The holiday season is near, so it’s time to make your shopping list.
  • The following ideas are sure to please and won’t break your budget.
  • Consider giving gifts like books, cozy socks, board games, and even gift cards.

It’s hard to believe, but we’re already approaching the busy holiday season. For many, it’s time to shop for gifts for family and friends.

If you’re working on your financial goals, you may have minimal funds to spend on gifts — and that’s okay! But if you’re worried that your budget will keep you from buying great gifts, think again.

There are plenty of affordable gift ideas, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to show you care. The most important part is that you’re thinking about your loved ones and want to do something nice for them. Here are some gift ideas that won’t put you in credit card debt.

1. A notebook and pens

There’s no such thing as having too many notebooks. Journals and notebooks make great gifts for people who like to jot down their thoughts, make lists, and doodle. You can add a nice set of pens or markers to make the gift feel more complete.

2. Disposable camera

Taking physical photographs is an excellent way to capture memories. But there are other options beyond expensive Polaroid cameras. You can still get your hands on disposable cameras, which can make a unique stocking stuffer for a friend or family member who likes to take pictures.

3. Drink tumbler

If you have someone in your life who regularly drinks coffee or always needs water on hand (so, just about anyone), then a drink tumbler is the perfect gift idea. You can find high-quality tumblers, travel mugs, and water bottles in various sizes, styles, colors, and prices. You’ll be helping your loved one keep their drink cool or hot all day.

4. Books

A book is another affordable gift. Consider what interests your loved one has and buy a book that fits your budget. It doesn’t have to be a novel, either. A cookbook, historical book, photo book, or travel book are other unique options that make for great buys.

5. Alcohol

If you’re looking for a gift for someone in your life who drinks alcohol, a bottle of liquor, wine, or a four or six-pack of beer is an affordable way to show appreciation. You can score a great gift at a low price by paying attention to what’s on sale when you go shopping.

6. Socks

Is there such a thing as having too many socks? I think not. Socks are a great gift because your friends and family probably have a lot of misplaced individual socks and could always use more complete sets. With so many patterns and color options, you can have fun and get creative with this gift idea.

7. Board game

Another fantastic gift idea that won’t break the bank is a board game. You can choose a classic like Monopoly or Clue, or pick up a new, modern board game. Your loved one will be glad they can add to their game collection for easy, fun nights at home with friends.

8. Phone charger

Many of us lose our cellphone chargers more frequently than we admit. This could make for a great gift idea if you know someone who is always misplacing their charging cord. If they spend a lot of time in the car, buying a car charger is another option to consider.

9. Portable Bluetooth speaker

A portable Bluetooth speaker can make a great gift if you have a loved one who is always listening to music and podcasts. While some speakers are costly, you can find plenty of affordable options. They even make low-cost speakers that are safe to use in the shower.

10. Gift cards

Looking for a stress-free and lower cost gift idea? A gift card gives the gift recipient control over what gift they get, and they may prefer it to you choosing a gift for them. You can get a $10, $15, or $20 gift card, and your loved one will surely appreciate the thought.

Don’t be tempted to ignore your personal finance goals this holiday season. Instead, find ways to be thoughtful without breaking your budget.

These gift ideas may offer affordable inspiration as you begin making your holiday shopping list. Homemade gifts are another way to go if you have a limited amount of extra money.

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