For many abusers, the family budget is a tangible source of power and control. Victims may lose a voice in how money is spent even if it is money they have earned themselves.
Women and men may find a renewed sense of financial autonomy when they leave an abusive partner, but they often also have to grapple with the loss of that partner’s income. Remaining resources therefore go toward basic necessities, and little remains for special events like the holidays or birthdays.
In honor of those victims and survivors who are working to regain their financial footing, we compiled a list of gifts you can purchase or make for children, family, and friends – and for yourself – on a budget. If you decide to use one of our ideas, let us know in the comments below!
Also, if you would like to learn more about financial abuse, please check out this great article from the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
- Play dough. Buy or make play dough and build something fun together. Check out the PBS video below on how to make no-bake play doh.
- A 500 piece puzzle + family time. (Again, check out the dollar store or Amazon for finds under $15 )
- Chocolate chip cookies + family time. Bake cookies together. If you use this awesome small-batch recipe that makes just 6 cookies, there’s a minimum of fuss and it only takes 30 minutes out of your day.
- A nail-painting kit. This one can be aged up for teenagers or down for children. Just buy a gift bag and fill with a few nail polish bottles, polish remover, cotton balls, and a nail file. You can give them a manicure, or you can let them give one to you!
- The classics: UNO, a slinky, silly putty, bubble-blowing kits, or coloring books and markers. All available at your local dollar store or pharmacy.
- Cool or funky socks. Sites like Joy of Socks and Sock Drawer have lots of options under $10.
- A DIY mug. Buy a plain white mug and some Sharpies and you can personalize for someone you care about. This is a fun one to involve kids in and could be for aunts, uncles, and grandparents. PopSugar has straightforward instructions to make sure the decorations on the mug last.
- Candy-cane sleighs. Again, a great activity with kids plus a cool gift for candy lovers. One Hundred Dollars a Month has very clear instructions.
- A really good jar of hot chocolate. Moonstruck sells great cocoa online that is just $12.50 and pretty much every Starbucks carries hot chocolate too. Not to mention your local grocery store.
- A meal. Put the ingredients of a meal in a gift bag and offer to cook one night. It could be as simple as some spaghetti noodles and sauce plus the promise of garlic bread. Who doesn’t love a night off from figuring out what’s for dinner?
- A down-time kit. Throw a set of funky coasters, a cheap bottle opener, a bag of chips (or popcorn) and some glass bottles of Coke, Sprite or Fanta into a gift bag and you’ve got the answer to a long day at work or an afternoon on the front step. Etsy has plenty of affordable coasters and bottle openers to choose from and so do places like Target, Walmart, and WorldMarket.