Five fantastic gift ideas!

Money woes got you down?  Not to worry.  Here are some great gift ideas for this holiday season.

1.  Give yourself the gift of learning to pay yourself first.  We all hustle our bustle and fork it over to the tax man, bills, and rent or mortgage first.  It's well and good that we are meeting our monthly obligations, but we have an obligation to ourselves too to save for a rainy day (everyone needs an emergency fund these days) and for retirement. 

It doesn't have to be a grand amount–even fifty bucks will do–but it's good to form good savings habits to get on your way to financial independence.  For longer term goals, investing in an IRA and or mutual funds will also help get you going in the right direction.  (Check out Ariel Investments for more into on mutual funds.  Get started with a minimum $50 investment!)

2.  Give your friends the gift of laughter, love and listening the next time you get together.  Oh what merriment shall ensue!

There isn't a box big enough for being fully present with your friends and giving them your undivided attention this holiday season.  

There isn't a box big enough for being fully present with your friends and giving them your undivided attention this holiday season.
 

3.  Give your parents the gift of renting your own car when you travel home for the holidays to spare them fighting airport traffic and or digging out of a parking space to fetch you. (Hotwire offers fantastic deals on rentals especially when you pick up the car from an airport.) 

Or if mother nature is being cute again with one of her blizzards, take a car service or shuttle bus to your destination.

Save them the aggravation of shoveling out of this to go get you.

Save them the aggravation of shoveling out of this to go get you.

4.  Give an elder the gift of a comfortable subway or bus ride by offering your seat to him or her.  Chances are you've been sitting at work all day anyway and could use the opportunity to stretch out your legs for a period of time.

Or you can do what I do, give your mom a seat then sit on her lap. It makes for a fun ride!

Or you can do what I do, give your mom a seat then sit on her lap. It makes for a fun ride!

5.  Give yourself the gift of confidence by hitting up a happy hour alone after work and buying yourself a glass of bubbly to celebrate your fabulous self.  (Chatting up that attractive stranger next to you also gives him/her the gift of your conversation. Heeeeeeyyy!)

Don't be afraid to celebrate you.  You're your best gift of all!

Don't be afraid to celebrate you.  You're your best gift of all!

These are just a few ideas to get you through this financially-challenging holiday season.  The best part about these gifts is that they won't break the bank and can (and should) be gifted all year long!

Happy gifting!