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8 Ways to Be a Big Gift-Giver Even When Paying Off Debt

Can you keep making extra payments on your debt and still buy presents for everyone on your list? If you’re trying to get out of debt, you might be dreading the holiday season. Even if you spend just $20 on each person, those numbers add up—and fast!

Well, guess what? You can still give gifts and keep your debt snowball rolling. All you need to do is get creative. So set your Christmas budget (no matter how big or small) and get ready to think outside the box! Here are some ideas to get you started.

  1. Get crafty. If you’re handy with a glue gun, your options here are limitless. The world—or Pinterest, at least—is your oyster! You could create a photo album, put together a family cookbook, or even paint a canvas if you’re artistic. Whatever you do, just go easy on the glitter.
  1. Give your time. Spend your time instead of your money. Offer to shovel someone’s driveway, run their errands, or even clean their kitchen. A little elbow grease can go a long way.
  1. Offer to babysit. You probably know someone with kids! Offering to babysit for someone you know might be better than any brightly wrapped present under the tree. Now they can go get their Christmas shopping done—or just have some good old-fashioned alone time!
  1. Write a heartfelt letter. If you know someone whose love language is words of affirmation, this is the perfect gift for them—and it won’t cost you an arm and leg. Consider handwriting your letter and putting it in a picture frame. Ultra classy, but easy on the wallet!
  1. Bake homemade treats. Who doesn’t want to chow down on some cozy Christmas goodies this time of year? Whip out a baking sheet and a bag of flour then go to town. You don’t even need wrapping paper. Just pick up some cling wrap or craft paper and tie it with ribbon. Presto!
  1. Use old gift cards. Americans have left more than $45 billion in unredeemed gift cards on the table since 2005, according to estimates by WalletHub. If that Home Depot or Williams Sonoma gift card you got last Christmas isn’t really your dish, use it to buy a closet organizer for your college-age kid or a mixing bowl set for that gourmet chef in your family.
  1. Sell the kids’ outgrown stuff. Hop onto a facebook resale group and sell those Christmas 2014 toys, video games and clothes that your children have outgrown. Not only does it boost your 2016 Christmas budget, but it also makes room for all those new gifts they’ll get this year!
  1. Dollar Store Stocking Stuffers. You may like the idea of stocking stuffers, but you don’t want to tack on another $50 to your Christmas budget. Head to the dollar store and stock up on little gifts like candy and Chapstick. That lets you focus the bulk of your gift-giving budget on the presents under the tree.

With some smart planning and just a little creativity, you’ll be on your way to a merry Christmas indeed!

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