Now that it’s November we can all rejoice in the fact that it is now officially legit to talk about Christmas, which, as you may find out in the next few weeks, is one of my favourite things to do. However, the only downside to the run up to Christmas is that, as a student, you can often be left worrying, sometimes mildly panicking, over how you are supposed to fund the festive gift giving. Christmas is always going to involve spending, with it’s parties, excessive food and drink consumption and the compulsory new sparkly dress – however when it comes to the most costly element, present buying, there are a few ways that you can make the season that bit kinder on the ol’ bank account:
Image taken from Pinterest
Making somebody a Christmas present doesn’t have to be cringetastic and unwelcome. You’re not 10 anymore, meaning if you put in the effort you can make a thoughtful gift that someone will actually want, and I don’t just mean your Granny (although something homemade for Granny is always a winner). There are an infinite number of things you could create, whether it’s a Christmas decoration, something that can be used all year round, or just a personalised joke present for a mate that will appreciate it no end. If you’re stuck for inspiration then fear not, you need look no further than Pinterest; the ideas will just load on forever, so you have no excuse people.
Make a Christmas Budget
First of all know how much money you realistically have to spend on buying presents, then grab a notepad and write down who you have to buy for and how much approximately you want to spend on them. You’ll probably find that these amounts will only serve as a guideline, but it will stop you from completely losing track of your spending. It’s also compulsory for this list to be bordered with holly and Christmas pudding doodles, otherwise it’s just a boring list about money, which is just not festive guys.
Food and drink is a big part of Christmas, and is always a welcome gift, so why not save money whilst making your foodie gifts that bit more thoughtful. Likewise to crafty presents, this doesn’t have to mean embarrassingly feeble attempts that could be produced by a child – you can get all fancy-pants by making impressive treats or even Christmassy liqueurs. Plus, by going all out with the packaging it will be a far more special present than just buying a tin of shortbread biscuits from M&S.
Shop Around Early
If you’re looking to make your Christmas present money go as far as possible, then the biggest mistake you could make is trying to fit the shopping into the last couple of weeks. By then, the pressure will be on to find something, so you can end up spending more than you wanted to simple because you’ve not got time to consider the options. Start slowly Christmas shopping now however, and you’ll have time to shop around for the most affordable options, as well as minimising the stress.
This way of gift giving is perfect for your group of friends at uni, who will no doubt also be looking to save their cash. Instead of having to buy presents for the entire group, the idea is to pick one person’s name out of a hat and only buy for them, secretly, whilst another friend is doing the same for you. Then, if you’ve managed to survive the inevitable detective work of your group, you reveal yourself as the giver when you all come together to swap gifts. The best thing about Secret Santa is that you can all decide to put a price limit on the presents, which could be as low as a fiver. A cheap price limit lends itself to in-jokey gifts, jewellery, make-up or some good ol’ christmassy food!