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Surviving Christmas on a Student Budget


Christmas, is now just weeks away. Yikes. For some this may fill you with dread, or it may be something you’re looking forward to with eager anticipation. Whatever your thoughts, hopes and dreams are around the coming festive season, it can be a time of indulgence. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course. It is good for the soul to indulge oneself, especially after a long, hard year of study. But how indulgence yourself and your loved ones when you’re saving up for 2017’s textbook list? Never fear! We’ve got some top tips to help you get through with just the right amount of indulgence while still saving enough for your 2017 study needs.

1. Secret Santa
Secret Santa is a great way to avoid having to buy gifts for everyone in your workplace, study group, friends or even family. Suggest a secret Santa for Christmas gatherings can save money as you only need to purchase a gift for one person, and if you as a group agree to set limits on the amount of the gift, it can be highly cost-effective.

2.Book Ahead
Whatever your plans are for the Festive season, be it travel, eating out or shopping, make sure you plan and book your activities well in advance. The costs of both travel and accommodation cost a great deal more the closer to you get to the Christmas and New Year period, so make sure you book as far ahead in advance. Or, if you can be flexible in when your travel, why not do it after Christmas? The further you get away from Christmas, the cheaper it tends to be. Similarly, with shopping, plan ahead. Look out for pre-Christmas sales and don’t wait until the last minute to tick off your list.

3.Cast Your Net Wide.
When shopping for gifts, Christmas day favours or food, make sure you cast your net wide. If looking online, search extensively rather than going for the closest thing. Explore deal sites, rummage through local markets and keep an eye out for end of year sales. There are always bargains to be found if you know where to look.

4. Make Gifts
If you’re remotely creative, try making cards and gifts. There are plenty of online resources to inspire you, or try making some easy Christmas chocolates, treats and place them in a nice container. { hint: check out our recipe for apricot Christmas balls) Cheap, easy and you avoid the hell of pre-Christmas shopping at your local shopping centre!

5. To Market, to market
If you’re in the NT, there are numerous markets around town showcasing beautiful locally produced Christmas wares, that are often considerably cheaper than what you will find in many online or shopping centre stores but great quality, and you’ll be supporting local artisans.

6. Enjoy it
The festive season means different things to different people and is often influenced by cultural and familial traditions and backgrounds. It can also be a time of stress, and expectations tend to run high. So, it’s important to enjoy the festive season for what it is. Don’t feel you have to live up to someone else’s expectations with expensive gifts, lavish food and more. Save your $$ and live up to your own expectations. If you need to be frugal, be frugal. Enjoy the season for what it is – a time to relax, celebrate the year past and connect with loved ones. Those who matter won’t mind. And those who mind won’t matter.

7. Don’t Panic
Above all else, don’t panic. Don’t get stressed about your finances. As long as you’re sensible, you’ll be able to enjoy the festive season for what it is – a well-timed break or conclusion to your studies and a chance to reflect and enjoy. So, enjoy!

What are your top tips for getting through the season..?

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