how to give gifts on a budget

Whether you're celebrating significant milestones or figuring out who to gift during the holiday season, we know you’ll want to make your gifts special. But when your budget is a little tight, it can be hard to decide what to gift. Don’t worry though - Max Spielmann is here to help!

We’ve got your back on all things personalised gifts without breaking the bank. Read on to discover our 11 tips on how to give gifts on a budget, with some recommendations to get your creative juices flowing.

Top tips for gifting on a budget

1. Make a list

writing a gift list and budgetwriting a gift list and budget

Great gifts on a budget start by creating a list of all the loved ones you wish to buy gifts for, then allocating a realistic budget for each person. This list will be your saving grace and keep you focused on only gifting for those you’ve written down. Plus, if you’ve really left things to the last minute for the holiday season - our last-minute Christmas gifting guide will help you get everything you need!

2. Save little and often

a jar of family savings for giftsa jar of family savings for gifts

Consider saving money a few months in advance to ensure you have the necessary funds available for gift-giving. This will make the experience of purchasing your gifts far less stressful, as you’ll have a bank of saved-up cash to use. Be sure to stick to your accumulated funds so you don’t overspend.

3. Shop around for the best deals

shopping online for greast dealsshopping online for greast deals

Before you buy anything (especially online), do some research and compare prices and discounts across the web. There’s no use rushing to buy presents if you haven’t found the best deal - patience is key. Look out for sales events, whether they occur during the summer, Black Friday, (or Cyber Monday), pre-season sales and the like. 

4. Have backup gift ideas

people hugging after receiving a great giftpeople hugging after receiving a great gift

Keep an open mind in what you choose to gift. If there’s a particular item that goes over budget, find a cheaper alternative or change the idea altogether. Is there a similar item that would fit the purpose? Or is there something they’ve mentioned recently that could make for a new gifting idea? Always go for the more affordable option so you don’t leave yourself short.

5. Purchase practical gifts

photos printed on a phone casephotos printed on a phone case

We all want the latest shiny new thing on the block, but sometimes something small yet practical can pop a smile on your giftee’s face! How about a personalised phone case that’ll protect their tech, or a new photo mug with a funny photo of your choosing after knowing their favourite one broke, can work wonders this gift giving season.

If you know the kids need something practical for back-to-school season, then a personalised notebook with their favourite photo or character they love will make them all the more motivated to use it in class!

 6. Go for a personal approach to gift-giving

display of framed wall artdisplay of framed wall art

If you really need to keep spending to a minimum, consider using some of your crafty skills to make some unique gifts. Think cakes, cookies, hand-drawn cards, crochet - these are economical yet thoughtful gifts that tell your giftee you’ve really put some love and care into their gift.

 7. Consider photo gifts

selection of photo printsselection of photo prints

Photo prints make for great gifts on a budget and are a great way to share those special moments with your giftee. It’s a personalised approach to gift giving, because you’ll pick the photo you feel represents what they’d love. Plus, it’ll have some sentimental value, and won’t stretch your finances! 

Regardless of the occasion, whether it's a birthday, anniversary, or Christmas, a photo frame or other personalised wall art can make for a unique and meaningful gift that resonates. The versatility and timeless appeal of photo gifts also make them appealing for any age you’re gifting for. Use our personalisation tool when selecting our photo gifts to upload the photo of your choice on desktop or straight from your smartphone.

Refer to our photo printing sizes to get an idea of what sizes to print your personalised photo gifts!

8. Think outside the box

photo canvas printphoto canvas print

For those seeking unique gift ideas on a budget, think about gifting an experience instead. One of our recommended wedding gift ideas is having a fun studio photo shoot - which is great if you want to create new memories or add it to your Stag or Hen Do itinerary. Say you travel a lot with those you’re planning to gift, a travel photo book filled with all of your fun travel photos together is enough to give them happy tears and something to cherish for years to come! 

9. Organise a gift exchange

personalised photo t-shirtpersonalised photo t-shirt

Another effective budget-friendly approach is to set up a gift exchange, such as Secret Santa. Be sure to set a reasonable spending limit so that there isn’t a financial burden to get the best gift - especially if it’s work-related. 

You can do a similar thing with your family and friends too - make it fun challenge by getting everyone to seek out the funniest or most obscure gifts you can find. Need a hand? Make it a funny wearable gift by putting a funny photo on our personalised t-shirts, aprons or tote bags!

10. Set some gift giving rules

ordering gifts onlineordering gifts online

Once you've completed your budgeting plans, you’ll need to set some gift-giving ground rules with your giftees (and yourself!)

- How many people will you gift?
- What are the spending limits per person?

If your budget is limited this year - don't worry! You could choose to give gifts exclusively to your immediate family members, rather than your extended family as well. Or, you might decide to focus on gifting only to your kids, or organise another gift-giving occasion later in the year instead. You’d be surprised at how many people are open to breaking tradition, especially when shopping fatigue has set in.

11. Be confident!

Finally, have confidence in your gift-giving abilities. Have trust that your gestures will be appreciated, regardless of the price tag. Stay practical by choosing items that align with their needs rather than wants. Not only will this approach be budget-friendly, but also ensures your gifts are appreciated.

We hope our guide to giving gifts on a budget has reassured you that you can still gift amazing things without going overboard. Don’t forget that many of our gifts can be delivered (or picked up!) with our same day gifting - which is great for those in a hurry.