How to do Christmas on a budget

by Ed Firmin

Posted on Thursday, December 24th, 2015 at 10:00

How to do Christmas on a budget

student budgeting, secret santa, students saving money christmas tipsChristmas can be an expensive time of the year, lots of socialising, and lots of presents to buy. Travelling back to see the family, friends at university to say goodbye to, and friends at home to catch up with, so really you need to start thinking about Christmas on a budget.

For a student, this isn’t good. How on earth do you plan for this additional expense when finances are tight anyway?

Here are some ways in which you can get through the festive period without it severely denting your bank balance.

Christmas presents – you no longer have to wait until Boxing Day for the sales to kick in on the high street. This year, Black Friday was a bit of a disappointment, and so retailers are kicking off the New Year sales before Christmas. So now’s the time to get the best bargains if you’re happy to leave it until the last minute. Trawl the internet, and then go into the shops to make the purchase (or you can now even get same day delivery from some stores!).

If there’s a big group of friends that you hang out with, suggest the idea of a Secret Santa, so that you’re not all buying presents for each other, but will just get the one between you all, it’s also more fun doing it this way and trying to guess the recipient.

Think about getting gifts that don’t cost the earth, but show you have spent time and effort thinking about the recipient. I’m thinking things like arranging a picnic, or voucher book offering to do chores or offering to babysit don’t cost the earth, but you’ll get tons of brownie points.

Socialising – it can be really expensive going out for meals and drinks, but there are always good bargains to be had. If you sign up to various newsletters there is always usually some incentive for doing so, £10 off your first meal, for example, so try and pick places where you know you can get a voucher or a special offer.

You could also consider registering as a mystery shopper, there are various companies that will give you free meals out in return for an honest review. Result!

Consider hosting a meal around at yours, maybe you can use the points you’ve built up at a local supermarket to help fund the food and drink.

Sometime you can even use the points you’ve built up to spend in restaurants too, so you can use the supermarket to go out!

What’s most important is not to go crazy and get yourself into debt. After all, your family and friends know you’re not rolling in it, they’ll understand if you don’t spend a lot on their Christmas presents.

Getting a job could help you out if you think you can manage it with your studies, and think about starting to put something aside from January towards next year. Boring I know, but you’ll be thanking me next December when you’ve got a big stash to spend!

Amongst all this, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy yourself!

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