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Christmas shopping on a budget

Published Thursday, 04 December, 2014 by Lily McConnell

I know what you are thinking; the loan is quickly running out as the first academic term of the year is slowly drawing in and the worry on students’ minds of making sure they can stick to a small budget is enough to make your eyes water! It can be really hard to balance a budget for Christmas as well as leaving enough for yourself to attend those Christmas parties, roast dinners with housemates or buy decorations for your room to make it feel more Christmassy! You can easily budget for Christmas if you have little money left. A little can go a long way and it’s important to remember that it’s the thought that counts!

First of all, you need to count how many people you need to buy for this year and remember that you don’t need to go mad on presents, people will be grateful for the fact that you have thought of them around this time of year. Go out and buy some Christmas cards for those who you can’t afford presents for – I always find this is perfect for family members or friends who will love to receive a card in the post but understand when you don’t have the cash to buy a present for everyone. Cards do not have to be expensive and buying them in a bulk pack with a few different designs can mean that you don’t end up with people saying ‘Hey! I got that card too!’ Pound shops do a vast range of different Christmas cards which will suit your Christmas style and they usually contain quite a few cards per pack so you can really grab a great bargain. The same applies for wrapping paper, I know it is nice to make every present look pretty but just wrapping a present up in delicate paper shows you have gone to great lengths to buy and wrap a present and make that person smile on Christmas day.

Furthermore, try and limit yourself to a certain amount of cash per person. Personally, this year I have gone for £20 per person in order to keep it affordable for myself but if you can’t afford that much, then go for a price range that suits you – you shouldn’t feel like Christmas is leaving you in debt, it should be a joyous occasion to tell your loved ones that you are thinking of them. People who are in full-time working jobs usually take part in the ‘Secret Santa’ task for other colleagues and always have a budget to stick to. If you think of Christmas like this, you can buy lots of little presents for a cheap way of doing things. Even though, as the saying goes ‘less is more’, you can grab some great bargains off the shelves. Usually, it’s not ideal to shop nearer Christmas time as the shops get busier but as a student you will begin to learn that this is when shops and supermarkets start to reduce their products and stock ready for the New Year sales. So it’s alright to be rushing around on Christmas Eve grabbing those last minute pressies. It also means that on Christmas Eve you can get festive by throwing on a Christmas jumper, eat a mince pie, chuck on the Christmas tunes and get those last minute hours of wrapping in. What better way to spend Christmas Eve than being super festive?

How do you save money around Christmas time being a student? Do you buy presents throughout the year or do you grab those last minute bargains off the shelves? Whatever your choice may be, have a holly jolly time!

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