It may be the season to be jolly but Christmas on a student budget can be a very stressful time. You might have just finished your last exam for the semester and are now making Christmas plans with only a couple of weeks to go. We’ve brought you some helpful tips to keep you, and your bank accounts, happy this Christmas.
Christmas means different things to different people. Some don’t celebrate it at all, while others like to deck their flats out like Santa's grotto. Make a list with your flatmates, prioritising what you would like to have in the flat and decide on what items matter most to you, and forget about things you don’t need. This helps you stick to a budget and not go overboard on the decorations!
Gift giving may be fun and a nice way to show your friends you care but the reality is we can’t afford to treat everyone and not everyone can’t afford to treat you. Secret Santa, where you only have to buy for one person, takes a lot of the stress out of shopping and dramatically reduces your Christmas spend. A good idea is to agree among you all what the budget is going to be, and sometimes the smaller the budget the better, forcing you to become super creative in your gift giving this year!
What to Buy
When choosing what to buy for others, try to think of something that is relevant to your relationship with them or something that you both share a common ground with. Maybe it’s a t-shirt of that TV show that only the two of you like or a voucher for a restaurant you both went to years ago. Gifts that show you have thought about that person are appreciated much more than the price tag associated with it.
Yes, gimmicks like black Friday and festive season sales can be exciting but more often than not we don’t actually need what we buy and before we know it we have ran out of money. It is important that when you see the words sale, deal or bargain that you keep calm and ask yourself if you were already going to buy it. If the answer is no then don’t bother. These time-limited sales often lead to us buying things for ourselves so if you feel compelled by the discounts it might be a good idea to tell a loved one, or Santa, that what you would like is currently on offer and hope they take the hint!
Christmas Nights Out
Nights out, whether with work or friends, can demolish your bank account if you’re not careful. It can be difficult to reject an invitation to a Christmas party so try to organise one night out together rather than three or four smaller events. This can reduce your spending while also creating a much bigger event to get excited for.
Planning an early Christmas dinner with your friends or flatmates before you all go home for the holidays? Make sure everyone pays their fair share. A good idea is to allocate a certain dish to one person, meaning everyone is contributing to not only the price of the meal, but the cooking too!