Self-employed professionals don’t usually get holiday bonuses or vacation days. Save time and money during the season with easy, inexpensive holiday gifts.
It’s almost time to pay self employment taxes, but first, independent professionals have to find a way to get through the holidays. Holiday shopping is time-consuming and expensive, and it couldn’t come at a worse time for freelancers, independent contractors and other self-employed workers. The only way to survive end-of-the-year gift-giving is by turning to easy, inexpensive holiday gift ideas.
Many gift-givers make the same mistake during the holiday season: they simply start shopping for gifts. Self-employed professionals don’t have the luxury of going to the nearest mall and buying for all their loved ones. Shopping takes a lot of time, money and careful planning. Before doing any buying, take the time to approach gift-giving the right way.
- Make a list. It’s easy to get into the spirit of the holidays, to start buying gifts for the landlord, all the neighbors, that nice lady at the corner store; it’s easy to get carried away. Don’t make a purchase without making a list first. Include family members, close friends and anyone else who truly needs or deserves a gift. It’s tempting to include everyone, but it’s okay to draw the line somewhere.
- Check the books. Before doing any buying, get a realistic picture of how much money there is to spend. Look at all bank accounts, sock drawer money, etc., and figure out a real amount for holiday shopping. Don’t go overboard. There’s no need to break open retirement accounts or crack emergency funds just to purchase gifts. Friends and family will be understanding if they don’t receive the latest, greatest gadgets in their stockings.
- Set a limit. Look at the amount of money that’s available for gift-giving, count the people on the list and find out how much money is available to spend on each of them. It’s much easier to buy holiday gifts when there is a round, numerical figure to begin with. Professionals who know they have $15 to spend on everyone, for instance, have a great starting point to get their entire shopping list completed in a sensible, inexpensive manner.
Easy, Inexpensive Gift Ideas
Everyone wants to give great gifts, but great doesn’t necessarily mean expensive. Putting a lot of thought into holiday gifts is a sure way to show consideration for everyone on the gift-giving list. A few easy, inexpensive gift ideas certainly won’t hurt, either.
- Photo books. Mixbook, Shutterly, Blurb … the list of professional photo book companies goes on and on. Instead of giving albums, give loved ones gorgeous, glossy, full-color photo books, that incidentally cost less than $20 a pop when the right package options are used.
- Edible treats. A bag of flour and sugar will go a long way toward making the season bright. Making candy is a time-honored holiday tradition, and it’s a great way to give loved ones a thoughtful, homemade gift they’ll appreciate and enjoy.
- Entertainment. Everyone wants music, movies and MP3s for the holiday season, but, that stuff is pretty expensive. The computer-savvy self employed professionals may take advantage of their skills by turning home movies into DVDs, creating videos of photographic slideshows and making personalized entertainment. Put creations on burnable disks or small, affordable flash drives so loved ones may view them on laptops and smartphones.
Even easy, inexpensive holiday gifts will make a big impression when the gift giver puts a lot of thought and consideration into what they’re giving. Self-employed professionals don’t get a lot of help during the holiday season, which comes dangerously close to tax time. Approach gift-giving in a professional, organized way, and show holiday love without breaking the bank.