8 Christmas Money Saving Tips for Students
As a college student, the holidays can be stressful. Your pockets are just lined with barely enough cash to keep you alive. However, you can't possibly think of going a year without celebrating. Unfortunately, everything about Christmas costs money. Gifts for family and friends, food for that big dinner or lunch you eat every year, and of course gasoline. Just the thought of all that money you have to spend makes your stomach churn. Here are some tips that will help you holiday shop on a student's budget.
1. Make a list
Trust us, finding affordable gifts starts off by making lists. Make a list of each person you need to buy for, and perhaps some things that they like. It will give you a good idea of what to get each person, and what to look for on the sale racks.
2. Don't buy gifts you don't have to
Are you stressing about what to get for that Uncle you never see any other day except for this holiday, or what to get for that friend who you only hang out with once a month? Perhaps you shouldn't bother with those gifts, after all, they might be happier if you don't bother with them.
3. Keep an eye out for discounts
Black Friday isn't the only day to go shopping for cheap. Hundreds of stores have incredibly low prices that beat the Black Friday deals all year round. You just have to look carefully throughout the year. Just last fall I managed to purchase a small patio set that was on clearance from 495$ to 150$ (that was about 350$ worth of savings)
4. Remember kids don't care how much you spend
They aren't retail snobs, and they won't get mad if you don't spend as much on them as you did with their sibling or mom. Most often children are more interested in playing with the boxes that the present came in, instead of the overly complicated toys. Why does that little race track need the use of a pair of pliers?
5. Start Early
Remember, Black Friday isn't the only day to shop. You can start as early as the day after Christmas to start shopping because most of the time everything goes on sale by then.
6. Do your shopping online
Avoid the crowds, avoid the stores, just avoid the stress. Simply wear your favorite set of pajamas get on your computer and shop from home while you finish up your exams and another end of the semester class work. You'll be able to get so much more accomplished in a shorter time span. Also, the deals are probably way better than what you would find in the store as you can easily find factory direct prices online.
Sometimes the best gifts are made by hand. Why give your cousin who has almost everything a gift card when you can easily make them a gift basket for a fraction of the cost. Or your grandfather a neck tie he'll never wear when you can make him a mason jar filled with his favorite cookie mix. These gifts are sometimes better than a retail made item because it shows that you're willing to put hard work into their present.
8. Encourage Secret Santa
Why buy for everyone when you can help yourself and your friends buy gifts for a lower price. Simply take a minute or two to create names that you and your friends will draw from a hat. If you get, yours simply put it back in and try again, or switch with someone else. Now you can buy one person a fairly nice 20$ gift instead of buying six or seven 10$ ones.
Christmas is a time for little magic. So leave the stress behind and let some magic into your life. Santa knows you've been good all year round!