Financial Advice for Holiday Shopping

There are several ways to be festive while also staying on a budget, including taking advantage of the coupons from the mail or in store.

The holiday season brings a bundle of cheerful celebration and fun, but with all of that comes a cost. Although this time of the year can cause a dent in the bank account, there are ways to save some cash during this giving month.

One way to save money is to budget. Before buying Christmas gifts and getting into the spirit, know how much money should be spent on gifts and other Christmas activities.

Sometimes a thoughtful gift means more to someone than a brand new Coach purse. There are many DIY gifts that can be made with a few dollars like a picture frame or even a thoughtful card that would be more meaningful and cheaper.

“I love making my friends and family creative gifts. I go on Pinterest and find an idea and its awesome because the gift becomes personalized to the person which makes it that more special,” senior social work major Paige Newston said.

Students can also encourage a Christmas gift exchange. This is beneficial because instead of buying 10 gifts for friends, each person can buy one and then exchange it between the group. This way everyone gets a gift and everyone just needs to buy one.

“Me and my friends love doing a secret Santa. Since we are all broke college students, this is perfect because it still gets us in the Christmas mood without spending a whole lot of money,” senior accounting major Liz Sudholt said.

Create a new tradition in the family where instead of giving things, the family gives back to the community. Either helping in the local soup kitchen or donating time to an organization may be more fulfilling then opening presents from Santa.

An imperative thing to do this holiday season is to check for coupons and deals at stores. Especially during Christmas time, stores have tons of discounted prices. RetailMeNot and FreeShipping are just a couple of sites that offer coupon codes.

Leave credit and debit cards at home. It is easy to get carried and lose track of money spent by constantly swiping a card. Take cash out to track and actually see how much money has been spent.

It is inevitable to not spend money over this holiday season, but with these tips hopefully there may be some extra cash in everyone’s back pocket after the holiday season.

CRISTINA MEESENBURG is a Features Reporter for The Vidette. She can be reached at Follower her on Twitter at @cristina_mees.

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