Last minute gift ideas from personal finance writers

Christmas is less than a week away, and you may be feeling like you are down to the wire. For some fresh and budget-friendly ideas, we asked some of our favorite personal finance writers to weigh in with last minute guide suggestions:

  • Carrie Smith from carefulcents.com suggests finding inspiration by checking out your friend or family member's Pinterest boards. "Most of the time you can find a small and inexpensive gift that's EXACTLY what they're looking for," she says. As a fall back option, give the gift of personal finance by gifting a copy of Jean Chatzky's book, Money Rules. Carrie says it can help them get their finances back on track, and it is a short, entertaining read.
  • Roger Ma from lifelaidout.com thinks that Chromecast is good gift or a stocking stuffer. In addition to being inexpensive and compact, it allows the recipient to effortlessly stream YouTube videos and Netflix movies. He also points out that restaurant gift cards offer an opportunity to give a great gift while also receiving one, as many restaurants are currently running promotions where they'll throw in a bonus gift card when you purchase a certain amount of gift cards.
  • Kelli Bhattacharjee of freebiefindingmom.com has 101 cheap stocking stuffer ideas on her blog. Most of them are available on Amazon.com and, with Amazon Prime, many of them will ship 2 day, leaving plenty of time until Christmas.
  • Cherie W. Lowe from queenoffree.net says to give Amazon gift cards since you can get everything you need on the site. "Even a small amount like $5 goes a long way at Amazon," she says. Another idea from Cherie is grocery store gift cards. She points out that they may seem boring, but are practical gifts and meaningful to friends and families in January, a time of the year when most seek to get back on track financially.
  •  Betsy Muse of consumerfu.com suggests making homemade goodies to give as gifts. Her mother and grandmother used to spend an entire weekend making a large number of fruitcakes, then wrapping them carefully in parchment and tying the bundles with ribbon. Each year she cans a large variety of jams and jellies for friends and family.

Tell us in a comment what your go-to last minute gifts are!

Image thanks to prosto photo on Flickr.

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