Christmas Shopping on a Student Budget

Like many people my favourite holiday is Christmas. I love being back at home from uni surrounded by family and just generally being happy and cosy. I also love buying people gifts and watching their faces as they open them, however when your on a student budget it can be quite tricky getting everyone what you want to get them.

Every year I am told to not worry about presents, that me simply being at home is enough, however I like making people happy so I cannot skip the presents! My first two christmases whilst at university weren’t that hard; I managed to save money so I could get my family members and close friends exactly what they wanted. This year however has been much more difficult, final year finances are nothing to laugh about and getting people what they want (and what I want to get them) has proved hard. It may still be November but I like to get my christmas shopping done when I can, so I don’t have to worry about it when I have end of term deadlines coming up, and so I have already bought at least half of my christmas presents for this year.

I always get asked how I manage to still get people presents they want and support myself at uni, so below is my list of what I personally do at this time of year!

  1. Start early – Theres nothing wrong with buying a Christmas present in May when you know someone will love it! Store it somewhere safe and you’ll be surprised to find thats a present ticked off when you find it in December!
  2. Keep a list – I’ve always kept a rough list of what I’ve got people and what I’ve spent, this year I made it into a spreadsheet. It makes me feel like I’m way older than I am but its so much easier to keep track of that way, you know what your getting everyone and what you’ve spent!
  3. Don’t say no to a deal – Sometimes when it comes to Christmas and birthdays you feel guilty buying something thats on offer because you feel your not spending enough on someone, don’t! Your on a budget so they will be thankful to get anything and if you can get something thats supposed to be £20 for £10 do it! Your saving yourself pennies and getting them something of better quality!
  4. Ask for wish lists – Christmas lists may seem like something only children do, but they’re useful. I personally would rather spend £10 on something I know someone really wants rather than something I think they may want,. Ask family members and friends and make shopping a little easier.
  5. Don’t buy for everyone – When I was in high school every one of my friends got a gift, even those I only saw twice a week in one class! Now I only buy gifts for my immediate family and closest friends, it means you can treat them more and maybe even treat yourself.

So those are the main 5 tips I follow at this time of year, and they seem to be working out quite well so far. Fingers crossed everyone likes their gifts this year..!

Little Luxuries

Sometimes as a student you don’t think you deserve the little luxuries, why spend pennies on things you don’t need rather than a meal that week? What we need to remember is that we need times where we sit back, take a sigh of relief and have me time, whether thats for 10 minutes or a whole weekend.

I’m 100% guilty of not allowing myself to have those luxuries in my first 2 years at university. First year I didn’t go out and drink, treat myself to little things I may or may not need and spent my time cooking, cleaning or studying instead. Second year I thought that going out and finally having a social life was my luxury, however I was very wrong.

After what happened to be quite a rocky few years I came into my third year refusing to not let myself enjoy what I wanted. Over the summer I became interested in makeup and beauty, and so had no problem saving up and treating myself to some staple pieces, and I also decided that I would not exclude myself from other things I enjoy. I quickly re-arranged my university bedroom so that I had a desk space for work and beauty, and made my room even more personal and girly so I really felt comfortable. I went out and bought more candles, because theres nothing I love more than lighting my candles and just having a relaxing night in my room, and even splashed out on a small £3 bouquet of flowers from my local supermarket (I was skeptical at first too, but a week and a half on they’re still going strong!). I even have a tiny pumpkin sat on my desk that reminds me that it’s winter, and I deserve to be cosy.

blog2_1 blog2_2 blog2_3

What I see now when I look around my room is a happy place, somewhere I can say I’m relaxed and feel at home.

So next time your shopping and you see some flowers, instead of thinking ‘yeah but I could get some pasta for that’ pick them up and treat yourself. When your walking down an isle and the scent of a candle grabs you, don’t carry on walking, go buy it and light it whenever you need a little pick-me-up. There is nothing wrong with spending a couple of extra pounds occasionally on something that will make you happy. You always deserve to be happy!