We all know living on a student budget can be hard at the best of times, but when you throw Christmas into the mix with the parties, family get-togethers and all those presents to buy , it’s easy to see how the spending soon adds up and the budget gets blown.
The key to enjoying Christmas, without going into debt for the rest of the year, is to plan carefully and shop shrewdly. So, this Christmas, to make sure the only surprises you get are nice ones, Debbie Forsey, Money Management Adviser in the Students’ Union Advice Centre has provided us with her top tips for a money savvy and stress free Christmas
Get a DIY Christmas gift cheque
Whether it’s a promise to give your special someone a back rub, wash the dishes for a month or babysit for pals with kids, your time could be the best present you ever give. A DIY Christmas gift cheque is specially designed for you to write in your own ‘gift’ and present them to family or friends. Download from the Money Saving Expert website, or pick up a bundle from the Students’ Union Money Advice display (next to the ground floor lift)
Free Christmas IOU generator
Christmas is the year’s costliest shopping time, but January sales are often the cheapest. If you’re buying a big-ticket item (a plasma TV, or a PlayStation) break this stranglehold with a Xmas IOU generator from Money Saving Expert. It produces a gift certificate telling family you’re waiting for the sales to get the gift cheaper.
Make a ’No Unnecessary Present Pact’ (Nupp) this Christmas!
The NUPP campaign aims to take the stigma out of NOT giving unnecessary gifts just for the sake of it, and buying presents can oblige friends to do the same, even if they can’t afford it.
Why not make a No Unnecessary Present Pact (NUPP) with friends, or at least agree to a Secret Santa or £5 to £10 cap on gifts? If you’re scared to broach this taboo, the free NUPP Tool from Money Saving Expert generates the email for you, showing recipients you’re not alone.
Check out the Money Advice Service
The Money Advice Service provides handy tools and tips to see how much money you can save this Christmas with savvy cut-backs and simple budgeting. The Christmas money planner will show you how the cost of the festivities stack up and help you plan your budget while the Cut-back calculator will help you see where you can make savings on regular expenses.
Shop safely on line
Take a look at the Consumer Council interactive Consumer Skills advent calendar with cartoons, video clips and infographics about how to stay safe online and avoid postal delivery disappointments.