It can be tough at this time of year; Christmas is only round the corner, deadlines are coming up, and the student loan is getting smaller and smaller. It can be really easy to overspend as a student on Christmas (I know I did last year), but it’s important to set some limits and find some new ways of doing Christmas. Here’s some top tips to saving a bit of money while still keeping in the Christmas spirit.
Decide on a budget
Before you even start thinking about what you want to get people, decide on a budget. You have to think about a lot of other things as well; train tickets home, seeing your friends, as well as the Christmas presents. Make a budget for how much you want to spend of each person, be it £5, £10, whatever you feel you can afford. Coming from a family of 8, I know how important it is to budget and not overspend.
With a group of friends at uni, you might feel like you want to get each of them a present. It’s often a good idea to suggest doing Secret Santa (no, you’re never too old). That way, each person gets a gift, and no one feels left out. Plus, you all save a lot of money!
DIY is one way that you can save a lot of money at Christmas. If you’re an art student, do a painting. Bake some Christmas cookies. Make a friend a photo album. There’s all sorts of great looking crafts you can do really cheaply.
This might seem a bit of a cheeky one, but we all get gifts during the year that we don’t like so much. Maybe some body lotion or perfume you haven’t opened. Provided it’s in good condition, wrap it up in some nice paper or ribbon, and give it to someone else. As long as it’s not the person who gave it to you!
Prioritise and make a list
As much as you might like to, you can’t give a gift to everyone. Prioritise who you want to get presents for (trust me, your cousin’s baby won’t remember you didn’t get him anything) and do Christmas cards for the rest. People will understand the difficulty for students to get presents for everyone. It’s also an idea to think about what you want to get people in advance. Make a list and stick to it to stop any impulsive buying.