SOURCE: Informa Research Services, Inc.

Informa Research Services, Inc.

December 10, 2009 20:05 ET

Budget Gift Ideas: Find Value in Thought, Not Price, Suggests Informa Research Services

CALABASAS, CA--(Marketwire - December 10, 2009) - It's that time of year again! With malls overrun with frantic shoppers all vying for treasured parking spots and holiday deals, it becomes easy to forget the real meaning and purpose of this season. Informa Research Services suggests a few different ways to show your friends and family how much you care while staying within a budget (

Gift Others: It's (Not Always) a Material World

The commercial vision of the holidays is chock-full of gifts, but it is important to remember that when it comes to gift-giving, it's the thought that counts. One budget-friendly way to give this year is to donate your time. Perhaps you know a busy mom who could use a night of free babysitting, or maybe your coworker would appreciate you running an errand for them on your lunch break. Think about small favors you can do for someone to make their day a little easier.

If you are short on cash, tap into your creative side and make gifts for your friends and family. Give a neighbor a plate of baked goods or make personalized items such as jewelry, monogrammed stationary, or drinkware. Remember, it is the little things that count.

Gift Yourself: Upgrade Your Account

Do yourself a favor and use online rate tables to upgrade your current checking or savings product. Rates on savings accounts are not sky-high but there may be deals available. For instance, the national average annual percentage yield (APY) on a $2,500 interest checking account is a scant 0.30%, and for money market accounts at $10,000 is 0.48% (Source: Informa Research Services' Interest Rate Review); however, credit unions and banks frequently offer promotional rates that are much higher. If you are willing to follow certain stipulations from a financial institution, there are checking and money market rates with APYs of 5% and higher. By checking rates online, you can find the best rates available in your area and take advantage of such deals.

Save yourself the stress and remember what the holidays are really about. It is not the dollar amount you spend on your loved ones that matters; rather, it's the thought you put into each gift. Be mindful of your gifting this year and your wallet will thank you in 2010!

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About Informa Research Services, Inc. (

Since 1983, Informa Research Services, Inc., has provided the financial industry's most extensive array of market research and decision-support information.

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