Certain people make gift buying easy. Maybe they mentioned something in passing months ago that got you thinking, or you saw a gift in a store and thought, "That's so Mom!"
Others on your list may have you scratching your head. You'd love to get them that new flat-screen TV or laptop they've been eyeing, but let's be real — times are tight, and the last thing you want to do is wind up in debt or fall behind on your bills, which can put a real strain on your credit score. (Not sure how your financial choices have affected your credit? You can find out by viewing two of your credit scores, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.)
To help you prepare for your holiday shopping, we've rounded up some of the best gifts for the loved ones on your list. All are under $100, so these will be gifts that can help you stick to your budget and keep your spending under control.
1. Fortune & Frame Envelope Key Chain
A little something special for a special someone, this envelope keychain in high polished brass holds a fortune — you can choose from a selection of fortunes or one you compose yourself (up to 95 characters). Get the key chain for $98 on Sucrenyc.com.
2. Print Art Kids Jigsaw Puzzle
At least one person on your list loves puzzles, and what better puzzle than one emblazoned with your child's artwork? Print Art Kids makes all sorts of items out of kids' artwork, and the Jigsaw Puzzles are their newest. Score your masterpiece starting at $33 on PrintArtKids.com.
3. Tiny Prints Custom & Personalized Notebook
Journaling is so personal, so why not give a personalized journal? The cover can be customized however you like, from a simple, sophisticated monogram in their favorite color to a photo collage, the possibilities are pretty much endless. Get yours on TinyPrints.com, starting at $14.99.
4. Kusmi Anastasia & Prince Vladimir Mug
For the tea or coffee lover, these beautiful mugs, whimsically modeled after Russian nesting dolls, are available in an Anastasia or Prince Vladimir version. Dishwasher and microwave safe, they're available for $22.90 each on US-EN.KusmiTea.com.
This wireless home security camera can be set up in a flash. Once motion is detected, Blink records HD video, which you can watch on your phone. You can also receive instant alerts on your smartphone or tablet using the free Blink app. Get Blink for $99 on Shop.BlinkforHome.com.
6. Duane Hybrid Briefcase
For the commuter on your list, this versatile bag by Solo transforms from briefcase to shoulder bag to backpack, all in an instant. It's designed to hold laptops as large as 15.6" in a fully padded pocket, along with all the other essentials. The briefcase, part of the Urban Collection, is available for $50 on Solo.net.
7. coveRumps Trucker Hat
Perfect for those who love lived-in things, these distressed trucker hats are just the ticket. They are super soft and look lovingly worn, and available in several colors with your choice of state emblem or pineapple. Score yours for $26.50 on Etsy.com/shop/coverumps.
8. Chuckit! Pro LX Launcher
Dog lovers will dash out with Fido immediately after they open this awesome toy. Even when it gets dark, playtime continues, thanks for an integrated LED flashlight and ultra-reflective ball, which dogs can easily spot from over 50 yards away. Score your own Chuckit! for $27.99 on Petmate.com.
9. Epicurean Hexagonal Display Boards
These gorgeous display boards, available in Slate and Walnut in three different sizes, can be mixed and configured to suit any gathering. They will surely be put to good use. Find the boards for $20 and up on Epicureancs.com.
10. Hand-Carved Serving Spoons
If you're looking for a gift that will both be useful and help people in need, these olivewood serving spoons are a great option. For $75, you can get this set of serving spoons, which come in a hand-sewn African fabric gift bag. What you spend is considered a donation (which will go to help Kenyan orphans of the Kamba tribe) and is tax-deductible. You can get these spoons on Donate.WorldVision.org.
11. Madrona Hang-Out Lantern
Perfect for the campsite or backyard, this lantern sits on its base on a flat surface or can be hung from a branch or a hook, thanks to its magnetic lanyard. The light intensity can be adjusted up to 300 lumens, and there's a blue light for a relaxing glow. (Don't forget the three D-cell batteries.) Find the lantern for $39.99 on UcoGear.com.
12. Hundred Headlamp
Got a frequent camper on your list? They might like this colorful hands-free light next time they're at their favorite campsite. This headlamp comes in five cozy styles and can cycle through three different settings to suit all your lighting needs. Get yours for $29.99 on UCOGear.com.
13. Tasc Performance Base Layer
In the cold winter months, any guy on your list will be happy to receive this long-sleeved top. It can be worn alone in moderate temperatures or as a cold-weather layer. The bamboo/merino wool/lycra spandex blend helps the wearer stay dry. Order the shirt for $90 on TascPerformance.com.
14. Armitron Men's Sport Camouflage Military Green Resin Digital Chronograph Watch
This camouflage watch is not just for men — it's so cool women's fashion editors love it as well. It's also highly functional, with day/date, chronograph, alarms and countdown features, and it's water resistant up to 330 feet. Find the watch for $35 on Armitron.com.
15. Gaea Black & White Gift Set
The hand-painted bottles of this oil and vinegar set will add a dash of style to any countertop, and the single varietal olive oil from Crete and aged vinegar from Santorini is sure to delight the palate. Get the set for $30 on GaeaUS.com.
16. Kinivo BTH260 (V2) Premium Bluetooth Headphones
These wireless Bluetooth headphones ensure access to tunes and hand-free calls almost anywhere. In addition to an impressive 25-hour rechargeable battery, the headphones are sweat-proof. Get them for $62.99 on NewEgg.com.
You can see the rest of the 21 top holiday gifts under $100 for him or her on Credit.com.