Springboard Offers Consumers a Way to Save Money with Do-it-Yourself Holiday Gifts this Year

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Spend less money and more time with family and friends this holiday season.

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Don’t be afraid to tell friends and family members that you won’t be buying extravagant Christmas gifts this year,

It is possible to get through the holiday season without spending a fortune. Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management, Inc. (“Springboard”) provides credit counseling to families struggling with debt, and encourages consumers to minimize money spent on gifts, and to put that extra money to good use - into an emergency savings account, or to pay down credit card balances.

Gift-giving can be tricky when families are trying to save money. Do-It-Yourself or DIY holiday gifts are a great way for families to stay within budget, while still giving gifts that will be cherished. For those worried about giving an inexpensive gift and receiving a pricey gift in return, this can be avoided by being upfront with loved ones. "Don’t be afraid to tell friends and family members that you won’t be buying extravagant Christmas gifts this year," said Melinda Opperman, Springboard’s senior vice president. "Not only is it a responsible choice, but it will take pressure off of your family members and friends who may also want to cut back on spending," said Opperman.

While the spirit of generosity displayed during the holiday season should be commended, there are ways to appreciate family and friends without having to turn to credit cards. Here are a few ideas for simple and inexpensive DIY holiday gifts that can help families stay within their budget.

Making gifts out of holiday treats: All that’s needed is a mason jar, festive paper, ribbon, and the dry ingredients of a favorite dessert – like cookies or brownies. Consumers should check their kitchen first for any ingredients they can use, and then look for coupons for ingredients they need to buy. Once measured out, the ingredients are layered one by one in the jar by contrasting colors, to create a decorative look. Next, the recipe is written on the paper, and attached to the jar with a piece of ribbon. Jars can also be used to gift hot cocoa, pancake or muffin mixes.

Festive coasters: Homemade coasters are both affordable to make and a practical gift for any family that entertains during the holidays. All that’s required is a set of basic cork coasters, decorative paper cut out to match the shape of the coasters, and a glue sealant. The sealant is used to adhere the paper to the cork, and then brushed over the top of the paper to seal the coaster. Once dried, they’re ready to be wrapped. Coasters can be personalized by selecting paper designs that reflect the recipient’s tastes - a nautical theme, for instance, would suit a family that likes to sail.

Photo gifts: For sentimental creations for close family members and friends, incorporating photos always makes for a memorable gift - from Christmas ornaments and photo magnets to scrapbooks and personalized calendars - the options are endless.

Those with special talents are encouraged to take advantage of their skills during the holiday season. From painting to photography to baking, these hobbies can easily translate into creative and inexpensive gifts. Rather than having to worry about credit card bills come January, DIY holiday gifts offer families an affordable way to show their loved ones how much they are appreciated.

About Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management
SPRINGBOARD® Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management, Inc. ("Springboard") is an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit personal financial education and counseling organization founded in 1974. Springboard is an approved housing counseling regional intermediary by the U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development, and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation signifying the highest standards in the industry for agency governance, fiscal integrity, counselor certification and service delivery policies. In addition, Springboard is a member of both national industry associations; the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Association of Independent Credit Counseling Agencies. Springboard offers personal financial education and confidential counseling in foreclosure prevention, rent, reverse mortgage, pre-bankruptcy and debtor education, and debt and money management. Springboard provides telephone counseling services nationwide, and maintains offices in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, South Carolina and Massachusetts for in-person sessions. Not all types of counseling are available at all locations. For more information on Springboard, please visit their web site at http://www.springboard.org.

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