Budgeting for Christmas as a College Student

Budgeting for Christmas as a College Student

Its going to be easier than you think!

“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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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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Christmas Of Remembrance Series: My Last Letter

Christmas time is not about the gifts... It is about something far, far more special.


Dear Reader,

Thank you for your time.

This is a series that I have dedicated to those I have loved and lost. It was merely a thought, then an idea, and now a realized creation. Christmas time… all winter really is a hard time for me. It holds this duality in my life of being both my favorite and also my least favorite and difficult time of year. It has been that way for years now.

In a way, this series aids my closure and healing further, and it allows me to tell my story in a way that, to me, is less scary (one of the many great facets of this platform). It was never my intention to write this in order to reach people, or encourage people, or serve as an inspiration to anyone. This was for me and only me. No one else. But, if these pieces of writing do impact someone, somewhere, or make them feel encouraged or inspired in some way or another, or just simply make them feel, then I hope you have enjoyed them. If I can make someone feel, then I guess I have done my job.

The life of an artist is often an uncertain one. The life of a human is a trying one. But life is a journey, and all journeys have their trials. Their tests. Their triumphs and rewards. And they all have their losses. What matters most is what you make of all of it. What lessons you learn. What changes you make. What life you create for yourself. What art you create because of it all. It can be very, very hard. But it can all be glorious at the same time.

At the heart of this series, my words, there is this deep and valuable belief of mine: Christmas (or the Winter Holiday that you may celebrate) is so much more about presents and cooking and shopping and all that other bullshit… it is about family.

The family that is related by blood. The family that surrounds your heart. Your Mom. Your brother. Your dearest friends. The bonds that make life valuable. Worth living. These bonds are soulful bonds, ones that are far more special than any mere trivial object. So… be with them. Forgive. Forget. Heal. Mend what is broken. Reassemble what has been shattered. And stop worrying so much. Laugh together. Cry together. Heal on another. Heal together. And may your new days be better, brighter, and full of love.

Happy Holidays.


A song for you...

"Sense of Home" — Harrison Storm / YouTube

If you liked this series, I invite you to check out my previous article below…

To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers On Father’s Day

As well as this article by a fellow creator…

What You Learn Losing A Parent So Young

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