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 one, 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.
If you still don’t have a bank account read our Best Student Banks in Australia or Best International Student Bank Accounts in the UK to get started.
Preparing gifts, cooking a pleasant dinner or decorating your student home are all tasks that require extra cash, especially when you’ve just made a new group of friends that you wish to celebrate with. 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.
1. Use DIY Decorations
Separately a couple of wreaths and fairy lights might not cost much; however, combine them with the rest of the decorations for your room and the tree, and your bank account balance will decrease significantly from all the expenses. To solve that, why not explore your artistic side during the holiday season? Watch a simple student DIY Christmas decorations videos online to make use of what you have at hand. 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 colorful ornaments for your tree. There are hundreds of ways to let your creativity flow, and they are definitely 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.
2. Make Use of Student Discounts
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 make use of 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.
3. Use Your Local Loyalty Program Scheme
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.
4. Plan a Potluck Party
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 organize 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 definitely create some unforgettable memories with every step of it all.
5. Organize a Secret Santa
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, 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 organize a draw where each person chooses the name of someone, and he/she becomes responsible for his/her 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 in 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.