The holidays are a magical time of year. You get a break from school work and (hopefully) you get to go home for a few weeks. You get to spend time with all of your friends and your crazy awesome family. You can spend time cuddled up by the fire with an eggnog watching a movie, or outside in the snow. Everyone is full of love and cheer and hope for what the new year will bring. Who doesn’t love the holiday season?
For most college students, life is lived on a budget. It is even worse when the holidays roll around. Thinking about all the gifts you have to purchase for you family and friends can be scary when you realize you only have x amount to spend. You can’t ask your parents for money to use as gifts for them, it just doesn’t seem right. Saving money for the season is such a difficult task especially this time of year because you have to get plane tickets to go home and you want to celebrate with your friends when finals are over. Not to mention the outfits you have to buy for all those fancy festive parties you got invited to.
You can still travel, give great gifts, and attend every party without breaking the bank. Even if you haven’t been saving up and your budget is seriously low this year, there are ways to get it all done!
How to Save on Travel
Pack Light. The price of your flight is inevitable. Depending on who you fly with, you could have a bunch of fees tacked on for baggage, seats, and any on flight accommodations. You can avoid these fees by packing only what you need and limiting to one bag. These may seem like small fees but they add up.
Eat Before you Fly. Eating and drinking at the airport or on your flight is expensive. Make sure to eat something before your flight or pack a snack for the trip.
How to Save on Party Outfits/Appearance
Avoid the mall. The mall is a money trap. You can find the same thing at stores like TJ Maxx, Ross, or Marshalls for a much better price.Thrift stores are also worth checking out.
Bargain Brands people! There is no shame in shopping at non-name brand stores. The quality may not be high end but you are probably only going to wear the outfit once anyways. This also goes for any hair, beauty or make up products you need.
Go Online. There are plenty of websites out there that offer daily discounts. Do your research and find something that will turn heads for half the price.
How to Save on Gifts
Be creative. Your family will love the personalized present you hand make for them. You can put together an ornament, make a picture frame, or paint something. This will help keep your budget in check and it is something you can give from the heart.
Bake. Cookies, pies, and cakes. Oh my! This is perfect to bring if you are spending a festive evening at a relative or friends house. Pair it with a bottle of wine and you are good to go!
Make it personal. Create a makeshift gift card for a movie or dinner date. With this you are giving the gift of quality time, which is something your parents, siblings, or significant other will love.
Plan. If you want to swap gifts with friends or a large group of people it can help save some money if you plan something out. Look into a white elephant gift exchange or dirty Santa gift exchange. You only have to buy one item and everyone ends up with something they love.
Re-gift. It saddens me to say this, but sometimes you just have to do it. Not only will this save you money it will create a solution for what to do with that.. thing.. your great aunt gave you that you know you will never ever use.
H A P P Y H O L I D A Y S !