Budgeting for Christmas as a College Student

Budgeting for Christmas as a College Student

Its going to be easier than you think!
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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” The malls, Target, and Walmart are all filling with Christmas decorations. Companies are already advertising for Black Friday. Even though I believe society might have forgot about Thanksgiving. With the sign of Christmas near, its officially time to start thinking about what you plan to get all your loved ones for Christmas.

It seems like it should be a lot of fun- but when your bank account is low, it can make Christmas shopping miserable. As a college student myself, this is one of the biggest struggles I face when the holiday season sneaks up, so that's why this year I’m budgeting for Christmas! Yes I said it! I am not going to just buy exactly what I think people may want, no matter the price tag-I am going to make sure I follow a strict budget. Which is going to be terribly difficult, because I am a BIG Christmas giver (which is obvious in picture below). Having said that, I am going to key you in on some of my secret Christmas shopping tips-so that when you get home on Christmas Break you will have plenty of money in the bank to actually enjoy your whole month off of classes!

  1. Figure out who you are buying for:

For myself personally, I am in charge of purchasing for my entire family plus my boyfriends family(minus his dad and brother, because he likes shopping for them). So for me knowing how many people I will need to purchase for, is extremely important for the next few steps.

2. Start a budget for each person:

Your budgets may vary depending on the person. For example, my brother wants one thing but my boyfriend NEEDS more than just one thing, so I give him a bit more of a budget than I did for my little brother.

Also, think about what people have asked for in the past. I have some people on my list that ask for more expensive things, whereas I have some people on my list who just want ONE big thing!

You also need to be prepared for the little things that come up when budgeting for Christmas, for example the dreaded secret Santa's. It's inevitable that once a holiday season there will be one secret Santa you are apart of-so make sure that you budget accordingly.

TIP: Making homemade Christmas gifts, which I highly recommend if you’re crafty, needs to be budgeted for as well. Even though it's cheaper, it's still not free to do at-home crafts!

3. Make a list for each person or get a list from each person:

This will help you keep on track and make sure you do not veer away from your budget. Every time you purchase something-check it off the list. Once you make your initial list, do not add anything to it, unless it's within budget. For example, if you are done with all of your mom's gifts and then she tells you on December 8th that she would really love this one thing for Christmas-do not feel guilty and do not go buy it. It seems like every year I get everything finished, and then everyone that didn't give me a list starts having request that they didn't voice before. Don't give in. Whatever you bought for them originally will be great. Feel free to go return what you already purchased. But do not purchase what mom wanted on top of what you already bought her.

4. Shop Early:

Shopping Christmas Eve will cause you nothing but frustration and to spend more money! Therefore, I recommend shopping as early as possible! I purchased my first Christmas present in August. When you shop early, it helps spread the cost out over an extended amount of time. For me, it's easiest to purchase something for someone each paycheck-so I don't feel the pain all at once!

5. Don’t give into temptation:

If you're shopping closer to the holidays and you’re finished with everyone on your list; and you find something you think a friend/family cannot live without-don't give in! Just step back and think about how wonderful it's going to feel when you actually have money after Christmas, instead of pinching pennies!


Just remember the biggest part of Christmas budgeting is not giving into temptation! I hope with these five steps you can work with me to achieve the goal of not being broke after Christmas. Just remember we're in this together. Once we graduate we will be able to buy the biggest and brightest Christmas gifts once we have our ‘big kid jobs!’

Cover Image Credit: Elizabeth Miller

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10 Reasons Your Big Sister Is The Best Person In Your Life

"There is no better friend than a sister, and there is no better sister than you."
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As much as I hate to admit it, my big sister might be sort-of, slightly, cooler than I am.

Sometimes. She's the one I call when I can't call mom and the only one in the family who can properly handle my attitude. Big sisters are the people you'd choose if they weren't already family, and here's why.

1. She is your first and truest friend.

Big sisters are (literally) there from day one. They see every dirty diaper, every bad haircut, and every melodramatic breakup. They deal with every bad day and drama queen attitude and still love you in the most unconditional way.

2. Her closet is your closet.

For some reason, her clothes always look better on you. Funny how that works, huh? With a big sister comes a big closet, and who doesn't love having a double wardrobe? I'd also like to take this opportunity to apologize for the clothes I will never give back (but I'm not really that sorry).

3. She knows what it's like to deal with your parents.

Anything you could possibly be going through, they went through it first. It's kind of like having an instruction manual or a key to the future. Either way, it's always nice to have someone who will always understand the struggle.

4. There are no boundaries.

Wanna dance around in your underwear all day? Cool. Life talks while she's on the toilet? Also cool. There's no awkward moments or changing in the bathroom with the door locked. There's just the kind of freedom that only comes with siblings.

5. Thanks to her, you know about all of the cool movies/music/fashion trends from years back.

Thanks to my sister, I have every Too $hort and Ludacris song you could ever think of downloaded on my phone. I've seen every cheesy '90s movie, and when a fad from 10 years ago comes back in, I already have the hookup.

6. She tells you like it is.

We all have those friends who tend to sugarcoat everything. Yeah, sisters don't do that. She's the first person to tell me when I'm making a terrible decision and that I really shouldn't triple text that boy again. She keeps it real with me and deals with my attitude, and that's why she's the best.

7. Her home is always open.

Sometimes you just need to get away from life and binge watch Netflix, and sometimes you need all of that plus your sister. She always has her door open when you're two seconds away from losing your mind, and she also has good takeout and a dog.

8. She knows what you're capable of.

My sister knows exactly who I am and what I can do. She knows when I'm not doing my best, and when I need to be set straight. She's always there to remind me who I am and what I'm capable of accomplishing. She's always been my biggest fan.

9. She's a lot cheaper than therapy.

For some reason, my sister always knows just what to say. Even if I don't see it at the time, she's usually right (don't tell her I said that). Big sisters are like wizards, somehow they always magically make you feel like life's gonna turn out alright in the end. If she wasn't already awesome at everything else, I'd suggest she be a therapist.

10. She will always be your go-to gal.

No matter the situation, she will always be by your side. There is nothing you could say or do to make a big sister leave, and that's why they're the best. Whether it's a speeding ticket, a mean girl or you just need to laugh, big sisters are always going to be there to lift your spirits and set you straight.

I couldn't make it without ya sis, I'm sorry for ratting you out on Thanksgiving that one time, and for running away at the zoo. Thanks for taking me to see Aaron Carter even though he's way too old to still be singing "I want Candy," and thank you always for being the best role model, sister and friend I could ask for.

Cover Image Credit: teaser-trailer.com

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I'm Keeping My Christmas Tree Up All Winter And There's Nothing You Can Do About It

It's the WINTER Season... ;-)

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I think that my tree would not be considered Christmas-y if the ornaments are taken off and the lights are kept on. I think to just looks wintry. I am also keeping up decorations that say "let it snow", and I am keeping up any snowman without holly berries or presents in their hands.

The tree looks wintry in my opinion. It looks pretty with the lights and brings the room together. It gives off a warm ambiance, unlike that of fluorescent lighting.

I've taken all ornaments off except for gold snowflakes and I've left the silver tinsel garland on as well as the lights. It looks wintry to me still. I will probably be taking the whole tree down by the end of this month to prepare for Valentine's Day decorating. (Yes, I pretty much decorate my apartment for every holiday—sue me).

There's nothing like coming downstairs and seeing those lights sparkling.

Or coming inside from a dreary, rainy day outside and seeing them light up the room in a calm, warm, and comforting glow.

Or having a bad day, looking up, and seeing them shine.

It sort of makes me upset when I come downstairs and see that someone has unplugged them, to be honest.

I guess they don't see it as I do.

Pretty, twinkling lights forever!

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