Everyone knows that Christmas is an expensive time of year. More so when your student loan is dwindling, and you’re waiting desperately for that next Student Finance text so that you can afford the fancy pasta again.
Christmas parties, Christmas food and decorations can all increase the financial burden at this time of year. And that’s before you get to thinking about presents. However, you don’t have to break the bank or go hungry just to buy your Mum a great present… and it doesn’t have to be scavenged from the floor of Primark either.
There’s really no harm in getting organised early. At the start of October when it’s still sunny, Christmas might be the last thing on your mind but you can always be on the lookout for a present for someone. If you spread your present spending over a few months, it makes it easier to budget and means a huge amount of money isn’t coming out of your account at once.
Another trick is to each month put any spare cash aside for an emergency – either if you need help with buying presents or as a safety net if you spend too much and are running a little short for the food shop.
A great, and fun, way to keep the costs down is Secret Santa. Whether it’s among your flatmates, society, or friends it means you won’t have to worry about what to buy everyone or, more importantly, how you can afford it all. Set a price limit or a rule such as a limit of £10, or everything must be bought from Poundland.
No matter what the rule, it’s one of the most fun festive activities for a large group on the cheap. The real challenge is if you can keep it a secret this time…
DO THEY NEED A PRESENT?
Honestly, it’s not as harsh as it sounds. Your second cousin’s dog doesn’t need that festive jumper, no matter how cute it is. Have a chat with your friends and decide if you want to do Christmas presents this year.
Chances are they’ll be relieved that you’ve suggested it, cause they’re just as broke as you are.
Who doesn’t love visiting a Christmas market to get you in the festive mood? And what better place to do so than Lincoln! This year it runs from the 7th to the 10th December and I seriously cannot wait! It’s perfect to find unusual or more individual gifts for people and they are normally pretty good prices.
It doesn’t always happen, but you might also be able to sweet talk the seller into reducing the price a little too. Last year I was able to get something for cheaper because I was chatting to the stall holder and took the gamble to ask.
So make sure to leave the frights with Halloween and don’t get scared by your bank balance this Christmas! Now, I better start shopping…