Festival season is a hectic time across India. We spend a lot of time, effort, and money on buying things for the house & Diwali gifts. With substantial discounts and offers, both offline & online, the festival grandeur is tarnished silly for choice.While personal finance experts advise us to make a budget and follow it. It is tough to get the perfect gift, which is pocket-friendly.Here we have some tips so that you don’t go overboard with your budget, and your gifts are well-received as well.

Don’t get persuaded by discounts: Before purchasing what you believe is a good deal, a little math will do you good. For example, there is an offer with a double discount, say 30% plus 20%, which makes it a total of 45%. In the next shop, there is an offer on the identical item which costs Rs 1,000 but with a 45% discount. Common sense prompts to go for the 30% plus 20% offer, right? But do you know you can get a more significant concession in the shop with the 45% discount? Yes, on the Rs 1,000 product with a 45% concession, you pay Rs 550. And in the previous shop, you pay Rs 560. Let’s do the math: 30% on Rs 1,000 is Rs 300, so you have Rs 700 left. And you get 20% on Rs 700 that is a concession of Rs 140. In total, you get a concession of Rs 440, which means you pay Rs 560 for a Rs 1,000 item. You also need to keep taxes in mind. Concessions are granted on the pre-tax price only. For example, the GST on garments costing more than Rs 1,000 is 12%. And on sweets varies between 5% and 28% revolving around the ingredients used.

Gift cards: Although Gift cards are not very popular among Indians, they are something that you should consider seriously. There is an array choice, right from movie tickets, retail outlets, and nowadays, even banks & e-commerce websites offer them. However, before going for anyone, there are several things to be aware of. For example, get one from a seller that is entrenched and has several outlets across the country. If you know the likes & dislikes of the person, then you can select a gift card from a specific brand. But if you don’t, then get a card which is approved at various merchant outlets. Getting gift cards in smaller denominations is a better choice. The reason is that a gift card can be used only once. Let’s assume that a gift card is worth Rs 2,000, and the person gets something only worth Rs 1,100; the remaining Rs 900 cannot be returned or used later. Rather, getting multiple gift cards in lower denominations like Rs250 or Rs 500 is ideal. Further, the validity period of the gift card should also be checked. A gift card with one year validity period is better than the one valid for six months only.

Type of gifts: Selecting a gift is the most painful part. Because most of the time, the gifts are not much of a utility to the receiver. Therefore, these gifts mostly end up in the storeroom of the house. If you know what the recipient wants, only then buy specific gifts or else buy generic utility-type gifts. For instance, if you get an excellent offer on a bulk acquisition of pen drives, then it’s a great idea to buy say eight together to gift to people who are working/students. Also, pen drives do not have short expiry dates and are not very expensive. It can be a great Diwali gift for friends. However, for Diwali, you can consider candles and diyas as a gifting option.

Sweets vs. chocolates, dry fruits: The shelf-life of mithai is short, try avoiding it. Get branded chocolates or dry fruits instead. Dry fruits can be cheaper or cost about the same as sweets, depending on the type, but it will last longer. For example: on the Home Shoppe 18 website, a 400 gms box of Kaju katli alone costs Rs 689, while a 400 gm box of cashews costs Rs 677.

Spend smart: It is easy to fall for the temptation of swiping your credit card. But the use of a debit card or mobile wallet is advisable. Accumulating debt is an easy thing to do during the festive season but not desirable at all. Remind yourself of the interest charges that can be as high as 35% per annum, and late fees on credit cards are very high.

Make a list: Knowing the exact number of people receiving gifts by you makes it easier for you to stick to your budget. As you shop, mark the person from your list, for whom you have bought a gift along with the cost. You can also send online Diwali gifts to Mumbai, Bangalore, etc. but remember, don’t fall for impulse buying.

Gifting money: Sometimes, we run short of ideas, or we do not have the time. In such situations gifting money is a tried and tested winner. With this, the receiver has the option of doing what he wants with the money, and it saves you the trouble of gift shopping.

Compare prices: Once you are done with the list of things you want to purchase, research a little bit. Compare both offline and online prices across several outlets. For bulk purchases, for customized or non-branded items, the wholesale markets are a good idea.