New York City, NY — As the holiday season quickly approaches, it is unfortunately the time of the year when many worry about giving the best gifts to loved ones — and how much money it’ll take out of their pockets.
For students, balancing festive celebrations on a college budget can be challenging. However, there are many ways to enjoy the holidays without breaking the brand with smart financial planning.
Here are the five best ways for students to prepare for holiday spending this year.
Set a clear and realistic budget
Before getting too deep into holiday shopping, create an honest budget of how much you can spend this year. Take into account your income, side job earnings, or savings and allocate specific amounts for gifts, travel, decorations, and events. A clear budget is the key to avoiding unnecessary financial stress down the line.
Start way, way in advance
As the famous Shakespeare saying goes, “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” In this case, it’s better to prepare at least three weeks in advance to take advantage of all the sales, discounts, and special offers that the company offers during this season, especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Make DIY gifts for your bestie
It’s never wrong to make a creative, do-it-yourself (DIY) gift from the heart. As long as the gift is personalized and thoughtful, handmade presents can bring sentimental value and show your loved ones you care without breaking the bank.
Use your student discount
Numerous retailers, both online and brick-and-mortar, often offer student discounts year-round, but especially during the holiday season. You just have to keep an eye out for these changes to keep your gifts budget-friendly.
Secret Santa with your friend group
If you have a large or tight-knit friend circle, Secret Santa gift exchanges are the way to go. Not only does this add the element of surprise, but everyone can participate, feel valued, and not have a financial burden on their shoulders.
Kailyn Rhone, (she/her) is from Florida, but is an NYC-based journalist covering education, technology and culture. Follow her on X: @onlykailyn.
Edited by Nykeya Woods