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Christmas gifts that keep on giving


Dec. 11, 2014 Get Rich Slowly

Anyone who has lived on the margin has likely felt the anxiety that comes with having just about enough to get by. That’s why I’d like to suggest a holiday present that can make a short- or long-term difference in someone’s life – the gift of breathing room.

Got a barely-afloat friend or family member or one who is inching toward the red side of the ledger? Even a small amount of leeway could be extremely helpful (maybe even life-changing) to unemployed or underemployed friends and relatives, single parents, retirees or recent college grads.

The freeing-up of even $20 from someone’s budget could become seed money for an emergency fund, an extra payment toward consumer debt, the sneakers her kid needs for gym class.

I included workarounds for those who are themselves on budgets. But the higher-end suggestions could be good collective presents if need be. Suppose you and your parents chipped in on a breathing-room gift for a sib who graduated with deep student debt and a starter salary?

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