How to enjoy Christmas on a budget

Festive holidays on a budgetWhether you celebrate Christmas or not, winter is a great time to get together with friends and family and enjoy yourselves.

It can also be an expensive time of year, so INTO‘s Danielle Colyer has come up with five top tips to help keep your finances healthy…when your diet might not be!

Give a thrifty gifty
Being ‘thrifty’ means using your money sensibly – and what better way to do so than by making your own presents? You could bake cupcakes iced with your friends’ names, compile mix CDs of favourite music, make photo boards, or if you’re good at crafts you could knit or sew something. Or, if you’re better at shopping than you are at baking…

Shop smartShop smartly
Lots of shops will have offers on at Christmas, but make sure you’re getting a good deal. Three gifts for the price of two might seem like a bargain, but only if you actually need all three items. It’s also worth checking online to see if you can get a better deal. Use your store loyalty points towards the cost of gifts, and remember that practical presents might not always seem very exciting, but they are less likely to end up in the bin.

Don’t be too generous
There’s no need to buy presents for everyone at Christmas. You could get together with friends for Secret Santa – everyone is assigned a person to buy a gift for, and you can set a budget of £5 to £10. Alternatively you could try a Yankee Gift Swap, where everybody brings a wrapped present and gets to unwrap a gift, which can then be swapped for other items.

international students' feastEnjoy some Christmas cooking
If you’re an international student take the opportunity to get together with your classmates to enjoy some seasonal food from your home countries. You could each bring a different dish and get together to celebrate and try some new flavours. And after all that food we suggest you sit down to watch some classic Christmas films with a mince pie or two.

Make the most of your city
Winter is a great time for seasonal events, even on a budget. Universities run a range of Christmas-themed events and London department stores such as Harvey Nichols have must-see window displays. Many cities will have Christmas markets and ice rinks, so look out for student discounts and special offers. Remember to take lots of photos – they last much longer than presents and festive food!

Do you have a tip for smart spending for Christmas on a budget? Tell us in the comments section below. And if you’d like to find out more about the festive holidays in the UK, read our Essential Tips.


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