The best time of the year is almost upon us! For most students, this will mean a trip back home and the need to budget for decorations, food, gifts and other festive essentials.
At Digs, we don’t think financial worries should cast a shadow over Christmas, read on to discover our top tips for having your best Christmas ever without having to break the bank.
The key to making your money go further is to budget well. Before you start shopping for any gifts, take a good look at your bank balance, factoring in any upcoming direct debits, pending transactions and other bills.
Once you know how much you’ve got to work with, you’ll have a rough idea of how much spending money you have per person. If you’re a little low on funds, it’s not the end of the world, we’re sure one of your siblings will be open to a mutual no gifts arrangement.
Plan Your Travel In Advance
One of the most overlooked costs at Christmas time is the cost to travel home. Without proper planning, the commute back home at Christmas time can be expensive and stressful. In order to avoid a stressful trip home, we recommend you:
- Plan your route in advance – check travel websites for any current disruptions.
- Avoid using public transport at peak times, off-peak tickets are significantly cheaper.
- Compare ticket costs before purchasing.
- Grab a lift with a friend in exchange for some petrol money if they are heading your way.
For more information, check out our top tips for a stress-free journey home at Christmas time.
Utilise Student Discounts and Offers
One of the beauties of being a student is the exclusive offers and discount you can take advantage of, with some retailers offering up to 25% off for students! To ensure you’re able to grab hold of all these great savings, be sure to sign up for the following:
Don’t forget, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up soon, so be sure to shop around to get the best deals. For more information, check out our guide to student discounts.
Make Your Own Gifts
Not only is making your own gifts cheaper than buying in-store, but recipients will also appreciate the extra thought and effort put into it. Most DIY gifts can be made for under a fiver, some examples of things you can make include:
- Snow globes – You can use an old jar to create a charming snowglobe, an ideal stocking filler or secret Santa gift.
- Candles – A bag of wax and bottle of fragrance can be picked up for around £10 and makes several candles, a perfect gift for mum or gran.
- Scrapbook – A personalised scrapbook or photo album can be a touching gift for a significant other. What’s more, with Free Prints, you only pay for postage!
- Cards – Homemade cards are cheap to make and are a very thoughtful gesture.
The majority of items needed to create these thoughtful gifts can be picked up at DIY stores such as Hobbycraft.
Being sucked into the “deals” available in retailers at Christmas time can leave you paying over the odds. Here are our top tips for ensuring you get the best deals this Christmas:
- Shop around to get the best deals
- Look online as well as instore
- Remember that a discount isn’t necessarily a bargain
- Always look for a discount code or voucher before checkout
- Sign up to retailers newsletter to hear first about any discounts or sales
- Use cashback sites when shopping online to retrieve some of the money you spend
- If you’re planning on giving someone a gift card (come on you can do better than that), use Zeek to buy other unwanted gift cards at a reduced rate
- Order in advance to avoid having to splash out for next day delivery
Top Tip: Avoid knock-off products, especially electronics. Whilst it can be tempting to order these items to save money, they are generally unreliable and can be dangerous.
Stress Free Accommodation With Digs
We hope you’re looking forward to Christmas as much as we are! At Digs, our range of stress free student accommodation Bristol means you’ve got one less thing to worry about. For more information, or to arrange a viewing, give one of the team a call on 0117 930 8750.