Now it might be the most wonderful time of the year (big up Andy Williams for a traditional Christmas song) but it can be overwhelming and ridiculously expensive. As a student, I pretty much told everyone that I wasn’t doing Christmas this year when I moved to Sheffield because I knew I couldn’t really afford anything.
Now I’m here, I’ve found there is a small amount spare for Christmas but it’s important for me and all other students to make sure I don’t overspend and go into overdrafts just for the holidays!
I thought I’d come up with some top tips on how to have a cheaper Christmas and how students can make the most of their budgets!
1. Make use of student discount codes! If you missed the Black Friday sales, it’s even more important to make sure you double check NUS or Unidays before you buy any presents. I rarely buy something if I’m not getting a discount or loyalty points!
2. Spend those loyalty points! I have about £20 on my Boots card so plan to buy my parents some toiletries using those points! That’s £20 I can spend on a gift for someone else or save it!
3. Look in bargain shops. I’m not ashamed to say that I love the pound shops. You can buy some decent, little gifts in there as well as decorations and food! They do all sorts of branded products, from beauty to chocolate! I got most of my decorations from Primark, Wilko and Poundland this year and spent a max of about £15!
4. Ask friends/family for help. This year, I knew I needed a small tree for my uni room to make it a little more homely. I was going to buy one from Wilko for £5 but I asked around and low and behold, my auntie had a spare 3ft tree in her loft. It’s black too which is right up my street! I’ve got some old decorations from home that don’t fit my parent’s colour theme this year too! Better than throwing them out!
5. Do Secret Santa with friends or go out for a nice meal! Set a budget (say £10/£15) and just buy for one person or use that money to go out and enjoy a nice meal. No, not Nandos or the pub but go to a local restaurant with a few friends and split the bill. Many do student discounts or discounts for larger parties and some places, you can take your own booze to save even more money!
6. Make your own presents. If you’re like me and creatively-lacking, this can be difficult but for many people, DIY presents are the way forward! My idea of DIY presents is making people beauty/toiletries hampers instead of buying pre-made gift sets because there’s always something in those gift sets that you don’t want!
7. Bake your gift. Every year, my dad and I bake on Christmas Eve. Instead of buying dessert for Christmas lunch, we make a chocolate cake, some gingerbread and some form of cupcake/brownie/cookie. They also make great gifts for grandparents and best friends who you have no gift ideas for!
8. Re-gifting. Cheeky, I know, but if you won’t use a gift, you might as well give it to someone who will! Every year, I get a bath set from someone. I’m allergic to bath bombs and all that sort of stuff so I re-gift them to my nanna. I also buy her some slippers so it’s not like I just give her a re-gifted present!
9. Book travel in advance. Make sure you know when you finish uni, if you need to be out of your accomodation and when you’re working over Christmas. When you have, chat to your parents about when you’ll be coming home and going back. This year, I’m only going home on the 23rd and coming back on Boxing Day so I’m booking my train ticket home on pay day/Friday!
10. Have a Christmas night in as opposed to a Christmas night out. Either have a traditional Christmas dinner in someone’s flat and everyone brings one item of food or if you’re like me and would rather eat that at home, invite your friends over for a pizza night, hot chocolate and movies! That’s a little more me! It’s cheap and cheerful!
Christmas is also a great time to share the love of your fellow bloggers! #Blogmas has created some amazing content so far and here’s a few that I’m loving so far: