Did you know that annually, in the first two months of the year, the number of people seeking financial help from banks, agencies, and family members increases by 25 %? Usually, this is because after the holiday season is over, the bills haunt people down like ghosts. Although the spirit of Christmas lies in spending festive times together with our loved ones, the one thing that puts a damper on that spirit is the dent that holiday preparations put on your bank account. As a student, you are probably as worried as everyone else about your Christmas expenses. After all, it is the end of the year, and your bank account is probably as thin as it could get from all the costs.
Preparing gifts, cooking a pleasant dinner or decorating your student home are all tasks that require extra cash, especially if you’ve just made a new group of friends that you wish to celebrate with. So to make sure you spend the holiday with your spirit up and to save your bank account, we’ve prepared five important money-saving tips to keep your Christmas preparations budget-friendly.
Separately a couple of wreaths and fairy lights might not cost much; however, expenses add up when you combine these with the rest of the decorations for your room and the tree. We suggest that you explore your artistic side during the holiday season to solve that. Watch simple student DIY Christmas decorations videos online to use what you have at hand. For example, you can make paper wreaths that look better than the tinsel ones with simple tools or even paint over an old light bulb to make colourful ornaments for your tree. There are hundreds of ways to let your creativity flow, and they are worth a try to stay under or on your budget.
You can also check out our DIY Christmas Student Rooms Decorations blog for more inspiration.
As a student, you have a privilege that no one else has, your student ID. Your ID is your ticket to a wide range of discounted gifts and exclusive offers for students. Most shops offer at least 10% off extra for students, which means if you buy a discounted offer from one store, you can sometimes get an additional percentage off for being a student. You can combine a list of the stores with offers, another for the habits and hobbies of the people you are shopping for to get a detailed on-a-budget shopping plan. Check the stores one by one and choose affordable items related to the interests of the person you are shopping for. You will be able to use the opportunity to the fullest only if you don’t have eyes watching you, so try doing this on your own. Shopping with friends usually means spending more money, especially if these friends are spendthrifts.
Most markets like Asda, Morrisons, and Tesco have a loyalty card or a saving scheme that you can use to gather free credit to use by the end of the year with a small bonus of up to 6% on top. These schemes mostly require you to buy from specific shops to gather enough points. If you’ve saved all your points throughout the year, using them for Christmas will be a real lifesaver for your Christmas dinner preparations. If not, there are always other ways to save money on your Christmas dinner, so don’t worry.
A smart student budgeter picks up on excellent opportunities to save money. As an international student, you have the best chance to save money and eat well during Christmas. You can easily organise a never-seen-before Christmas dinner with your flatmates by planning a Potluck party, the best solution to a budget-friendly Christmas dinner. If you plan a potluck party with friends, you will only need to buy the ingredients for the one or two dishes you are preparing for your Christmas dinner. Other than saving money and time, you will all create some unforgettable memories with every step of it all.
Let’s face it; you will have to buy more than one gift regardless of where you are. To be officially obliged to buy only one gift, the Secret Santa game is your solace. All you have to do is make a list with the names of whoever is coming to your Christmas dinner, then organise a draw where each person chooses the name of someone, and they become responsible for their present. This way, you get to enjoy a fun boxing day together with your close friends while only buying one gift for one person. Furthermore, you will have more time to think about the best present for that person, which means you will put your heart and mind into whatever you choose in the end.
Check out our The Art of Choosing Christmas Gifts blog if you are not sure what to buy for your secret Santa partner.