Start Now and Stay Sane: Our Holiday Budget Guide

The type A’s among us have likely already made a holiday shopping list and started saving… The rest of us, procrastinators and dreamers that we are, probably haven’t given much thought to a holiday budget. Holidays are stressful for a number of causes, but don’t let your financial situation become one of those reasons. Use this guide to build a financial plan for the season and set aside a few bucks so you can spend the holidays enjoying the people and things you love!

Create a sensible budget

This stuff sounds easy, but until you put it all on paper you may not actually know how much money to spend on gifts this season, unless you’re really good at managing your money!

First off, decide on an amount that you feel comfortable spending this holiday season. Set a deadline for when you want to start shopping for gifts. Your expenses include bills to be paid and discretionary spending (i.e. the money you spend on going out, travelling, and other incidentals). If you subtract your expenses from your income and you will be left with what’s called your net income. Your holiday budget should not exceed more than half of this.






Make a list, check it twice

Next, Make a list of family and friends that you plan on giving gifts to and decide how much you plan to spend on each present.  According to the results of Barnes & Noble College 2012 College Marketing Survey the average college student plans on spending about two-hundred dollars in total on Christmas present. This may mean that if you want to spend more on Mom and Dad, you can get smaller gifts for your friends.

There’s a ton of low-budget ways to gift friends and family when you’re low on cash. With smaller gifts, it is truly the thought that counts. Getting your roommate a coffee mug or other small decoration with the school logo on it will be something that will forever remind them of you! Take the gift an extra step and personalize it to make it more meaningful it. You may even want to make your own gifts (we will be posting new DIY gift ideas soon)!

Don’t forget seasonal incidentals

While a good chunk of your holiday budget may go towards gifts, don’t forget saving for events you plan on attending over the holiday break, the pink feather tree that you felt you HAD to buy to decorate your dorm room, or that dress (and matching shoes) that you’ve been wanting to buy for New Year’s Eve.

If you’re still feeling stressed and pressed for cash

This is a great time to apply for seasonal work at retail stores, and those jobs give great discounts. Just keep in mind that there are certain black-out days (mandatory work days) which often include Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

No time to work? Taking advantage of the bookstore’s buyback season is a great way to net some (easy) cash!

As always – don’t forget to post any tips of your own in the comments!

Written by Guest Blogger, Alycia Terry


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Popular Articles
9 Mindless Games to Play for Stress Relief

9 Mindless Games to Play for Stress Relief

After a long day of classes, projects and exams, do you ever find that it's hard to unwind from all that mental clutter you've just accumulated? Read More…
5 Goals to Make at Your Internship

5 Goals to Make at Your Internship

Internship season is officially here. Whether you're getting your hands-on experience at a bustling start-up or diving right in at a major corporation, you can bet Read More…
10 Things to Do During Your Study Break

10 Things to Do During Your Study Break

Put down the books and take a break from studying. No, really...We're serious! Taking about 10-15 minutes to de-stress for every hour you study is much-needed. Read More…
6 Tricks to Keep Your Dorm Room Smelling Fresh

6 Tricks to Keep Your Dorm Room Smelling Fresh

Sometimes dirty laundry piles up. Other times you leave your leftovers in your mini fridge a little too long. And sometimes, you really just miss the bliss Read More…
The College Juice © 2019