19 Ways To Afford Christmas Gifts On A College Budget
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19 Different Ways To Afford Christmas Gifts On A Broke College Student Budget

You're already a year too late at getting started!

19 Different Ways To Afford Christmas Gifts On A Broke College Student Budget

When I buy Christmas gifts I start a year before and sometimes even earlier. That's right, I already have gifts for Christmas 2019. Starting this early allows me to hit all the sales, spend money over time so I don't feel so broke, and find the best quality gifts for those I care about. If I find multiple gifts I love for someone I don't have to worry about overbuying for them because I can just give it to them the next Christmas.

Here are 19 ways I buy quality, thoughtful gifts on a broke college student budget:

1. The after Christmas sales!

One of the main reasons to buy Christmas gifts so early is to take advantage of all those sales welcoming you into the new year!

2. Black Friday

As hectic as it can be out there it still is a prime opportunity to fin some quality gifts at a fraction of their normal price. I usually hit up Walmart and Target for their epic movie sales. I also usually check out what sales Amazon is offering.

3. Cyber Monday

Mega sales are with us 24/7 on Cyber Monday. All you need is a laptop or smartphone and probably a game plan. I usually check out all my favorite stores but mostly I shop Amazon.

4. I look for yearly sales in all my favorite stores

Since you aren't confining yourself to a specific time of year to do your shopping, you have the option of taking advantage of any sale, at any time during the year.

5. Amazon

Amazon is one of my favorite shopping destinations for my broke college student budget. It has special deals and sales all year round, plus it has an abundance of not expensive products to shop from.

6. I save my credit card points for gift shopping

My credit card rewards goes to gift shopping. This lets me save my money for my bills.

7. Coupons are life

Don't overlook coupons. It might sometimes take more time and preparation to look for coupons but it let's you have the gift budget your friends and family deserve.

8. If coupons are life, so are student discounts

We only get student discounts for a limited time in our life, so now's your chance to profit on what's sending us all into debt.

9. Buy in bulk!

I've definitely bought a larger quantity of an item to give to multiple people in an effort to give quality gifts on my tiny budget. For example, one year I bought a pack of six nice quality socks. I then made six little care packages that included one pair of the socks as Christmas gifts for different people.

10. Price match

Now this is something we should all do every time we shop. A lot of stores will price match their own website or competitor prices. It can definitely be worth the couple minutes it takes to check their price online before hitting up the register. I once saved $40 by price matching online prices for the stores own website!

11. Cut yourself some slack!

Everyone knows we aren't rich. We're college students and what matters most to the ones we care about is the thought.

12. Create a budget for yourself

I usually make a list of everyone I want to buy for and set a price budget. I'll also use the list to keep track of what I buy, how much I actually spend, and a place to brainstorm ideas. Making a budget allows you to approach your holiday shopping strategically instead of accidentally spending all your money before you get a chance to buy everyone a gift. My budget changes throughout the year as my financial situation fluctuates.

13. Be creative!

I love Pinterest! And for those of you who saw "be creative" and thought "I'm out," I recommend looking on there. There are so many ways to get creative with your gift giving. I've definitely made flower pens and wreaths as gifts before.

14. Team up with someone

Maybe a sibling, a cousin, or your significant other. Teaming up on buying a gift allows you to share the cost, possibly saving you money or simply allowing you to gift something more expensive then what you could afford on your own.

15. Buy used or refurbished products

Often, if the gift comes a reputable company or seller the used or refurbished item is as good as new but is a whole lot cheaper.

16. Facebook Marketplace and Garage Sale Pages

Continuing the buying used conversation, I love shopping on Facebook marketplace or on my community's Facebook garage sale page.

17. White Elephants

Let's be real, you don't always see something you want at the white elephant you participate in. But, maybe instead you see something you know someone else would love. You put the money and/or energy in to participate so if you walk out with the perfect gift for someone close to you, I'd call it a win.

18. Don't feel obligated to buy for everyone

Just because you know the person doesn't mean you have to buy them a gift. Not only is that unrealistic in terms of your budget but it'll be harder to know what to get them if you don't really know them. Figure out who you want to buy a gift for and then go from there. Gifts shouldn't be an obligation.

19. It's the thought that counts

Christmas is not about how much money you spend. The person you're gifting will just be appreciative you thought enough about them to get them something. And if they don't, then they're really not worth keeping in your life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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