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  • Claire Vorster

3 Ways to Give the Best Things in Life, for Less

Here are some things that are cost nothing to give.

A smile




Yes, it’s true what they say - whoever ‘they’ are - the best things in life are free. We always remember the people who make a positive difference in our lives; they’re priceless. Back in the world of the monthly budget, there are certain times of year that can blow a hole in your otherwise stable bank balance. Birthdays and festivals come to mind.

Getting everyone together is not always cheap, and once you add in a gift for that special someone, your smile could be wearing a little thin.

Here are 3 simple ways to save money on gifts or festivals without feeling like you’re being ‘cheap’ about it.

  1. Create an experience – invite everyone to bring something delicious to share at the park, beach or the Botanic Gardens. You could ask people to be ready to share a memory (a good one of course!) about the person you are celebrating. Or maybe bring a photo of something you have done together. Whatever you decide, it’s a special way to honor a family member or friend without spending a huge amount on a gift they may or may not like.

  2. Offer your time – the greatest gift may be an offer to look after someone’s children so they can go away for a night. Or if you’re a budding chef, you could offer them a ‘pop up’ restaurant in their home for a night, where you design and cook a three-course meal for two…or more. Other ideas – spring cleaning, grocery shopping, making cookies, home spa treatment, gym session, whatever you love to do, make a gift of it.

  3. Give a ‘Tell Me’ notebook – this is a wonderful idea for a member of your family, maybe a grandparent, uncle or even one of your parents. The gift is a notebook you think they’ll like plus a pen. Simple! In the book, you write questions to things you would like to know about them. Questions could be things like “what are you happy about?” “who was your best friend at school?” “when were you brave?” “when did you fail, and what did you learn?” “what do you remember most about being a child?”

Something to think about

In 2013, scientists Dr. Stephen Porges and Dr. C. Sue Carter and authored a well researched article called The Biochemistry of Love. They explained, “Without loving relationships, humans fail to flourish, even if all of their other needs are met.”

In short, the time we spend together (presence) is more valuable than expensive gifts (presents).

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