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The holiday season is a wonderful time of year and, if you have a family, then you want to make it as special as possible for each one of them. You want to go the extra mile and even be extravagant because it brings you even more joy to see them smile when they unwrap wonderful gifts from you.

Unfortunately, this can be extremely challenging if you have bad credit or unhealthy credit. Your lack of credit could hamper you from spending what you want to spend on your loved ones. Or perhaps you’re worried that spending more than you can easily pay back on your credit card will make your bad credit worse. (Want to know where your credit stands? You can view two of your scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.)

Here’s the good news: You can create a wonderfully festive season with memorable gifts that can also be credit friendly. Here are five gift-giving tips to help you get started.

1. Pick a Budget and Stick to It

Start with a budget. If you’re not sure how much to budget, then figure out what you can pay back between now and when your credit card bill is due. If you’re worried about overspending and hurting your credit, then pay with cash only.

2. Create a Package of Small Gifts

Rather than blowing your money on several big gifts, spend some time shopping with each person in mind and put together a collection of small gifts.

3. Craft Something

If you have artistic or craft skills, then your loved ones may appreciate something you made just for them. The time and care you put into the handmade item can be far more meaningful than an expensive gift.

4. Make Memories

You might think your family wants expensive gifts, but you do know what they really want? They want to make memories with you. (Even your children, who might initially be focused on big, flashy gifts at this time of year, will cherish the memories you make with them for the rest of their lives.) So, instead of blowing your budget on the latest gadget or toy, why not buy each family member tickets to an event or performance that they’d enjoy … and buy another ticket for yourself?

5. Give Your Spouse a Date Night

If you and your spouse both struggle with unhealthy credit, then one of the best gifts you can give them is a credit date. Set a date where just the two of you sit down and work together to start creating healthier credit. Make it fun all day, and then reward your hard work with a romantic candlelight dinner at the end to celebrate this new step in your relationship.

This time of year, it’s tempting to think that gift giving is all about how much money you spend. But it’s not! It’s about the care and love you put into the memories you build — and that is a credit-friendly approach to gift giving.

Image: AzmanJaka

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