How to Come up With Clever Gift Ideas When You Have No Money

Whether it’s been a tough year at work or you made a big purchase, that may leave little to budget for Christmas gifts. For adults knowing what to do can be difficult. From DIY to inexpensive suggestions, here is how to come up with clever gift ideas when you have no money.

How to Come up With Clever Gift Ideas When You Have No Money

Cheap but Thoughtful Christmas Gifts

We all go through times where finances are difficult. Whether it’s due to a job transition or a major purchase, such as a house, you may feel strapped and looking for gift ideas when you have no money.

So, what do you give to those on your list when you are on a tight budget or don’t have money for gifts this Christmas? As a couple, you may be still trying to save up for your wedding or honeymoon. Lots of couples wonder how to give small but meaningful gifts when they’re on a tight budget.

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get your loved ones the perfect holiday gift this Christmas. So, if you’ve been wondering, “How can I give cheap Christmas gifts that look expensive?” or “How to give Christmas gifts when you’re broke,” never fear! Here are a few tips for gift giving when you might not have much to give. 

Christmas Gift Ideas When You Have No Money

It’s ok to give small but meaningful gifts during the holiday season. 

Christmas Gift Ideas When You Have No Money

Give small but meaningful gifts of experiences instead.

Possibly you don’t have the money now but you will later. If so, you can always give an experience such as a movie night or even a vacation if you have the budget. However, there is nothing wrong with giving experiences that aren’t as costly.

You could offer your babysitting services, clean their house, or even do some yard work. If you want to spend more time with the gift receiver, offer to cook a special dinner, have a board game night, or do something else together.

Sometimes the small but meaningful gifts of time can mean more than a physical present. Cheap but thoughtful Christmas gifts can take all forms.

Cheap But Thoughtful Christmas Gifts for Adults

Consider giving cheap Christmas gifts that look expensive. Gorgeous wrapping can help!

Don’t be afraid to regift thoughtful gifts.

Some people out there aren’t a fan of regifting because they think it’s rude. However, this is a great way to purge your home of gifts that won’t serve you well. It also helps you give a great gift without spending any money. This is especially true if you have gift cards or other certificates that would otherwise go to waste.

Make absolutely sure that whoever you gift the item to did not initially give you that item. Also, make sure that they don’t share the same social circle, or you could have some explaining to do later on. Yikes!

Creative Christmas Gift Ideas When You Have No Money

Creative searching can help you find cheap Christmas gifts under $10, or consider regifting.

Give DIY gifts when you’re broke.

Just because you’re on a tight budget doesn’t mean that you have to skip giving gifts. Homemade gifts can be made very inexpensive. Also, many of the supplies can be used to create multiple gifts for a one-time payment.

While you can go the luxury route with handmade products, you don’t need top of the line supplies to make cupcakes or candles for people on your list. Get creative and make DIY gifts when you’re broke or have a tight budget.

DIY Gifts When You're Broke | Small But Meaningful Gifts for Christmas

Make DIY gifts when you’re broke. Handmade items can be small but meaningful gifts.

Do a secret Santa gift exchange instead.

Instead of buying gifts for everyone this year, get together with your family, and do a secret Santa gift exchange. Have each couple or family choose another family, or you could even do it by person.

This is a great way to reduce your gift budget but still ensure that everyone gets a gift. Shopping for both sides of the family can be expensive. Therefore, this is an excellent alternative to buying a ton of gifts for all your aunts, cousins, and in-laws. It’s a fabulous way to reduce the number of gift ideas when you have no money to spend.

Cheap Christmas Gifts that Look Expensive

Do a secret Santa exchange, and limit to cheap Christmas gifts under $5 or another amount.

Out of gift ideas when you have no money? Skip them this year.

The last tip is here because it’s a reality you might have to face. If you really can’t find a way to make the other tips above work, consider skipping the gifts.

Let your family know that you won’t be doing gifts this year and that you don’t expect to receive any either. Setting this expectation allows you to explain yourself to your friends and family. Consequently, let them know what to expect when December 25th rolls around, and you come empty-handed.

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Final Thoughts on Gift Ideas When You Have No Money

We all go through difficult seasons of life or even have those months when we can’t afford to give gifts. Christmas when you’re broke can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be with a little creativity.

Whether you need a gift idea for a wedding, birthday, or holiday, these tips will hopefully help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.

How to Come up With Clever Gift Ideas When You Have No Money for Christmas

Photos: Olya Kobruseva, Kira auf der Heide, Ylanite Koppens, Any Lane, Samuel Holt, Lucie Liz


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