The holiday season is a time to be with family, have fun and ring in the new year. Many feel obligated to buy gifts for others, or even host large gatherings.
It is important to balance the fun with the money spent to achieve it. Students are often in weak financial positions, many of them in some sort of debt.
Although a fantastic gift for a parent or significant other would be great, spending a lot of money could put students in some trouble. This is especially true for those who purchase items on a credit card without paying it off immediately.
Some students live near campus while others must travel a significant distance. Keep in mind that these trips typically cost gas money and restaurant money if traveling by car.
When traveling by plane, there is the ticket along with whatever else the airline charges. Those living in apartments still have their rent to pay even if they may be gone and not working for a whole month.
When shopping for certain seasonal items, stores may mark some of these items down starting on Dec. 26. Stores also have their own discounts leading up to Christmas Day.
If someone were looking to buy a gift card, often a store like Sam’s Club may offer a discount off face value for members. These can be great for someone’s favorite restaurant.
When it comes to the holidays, people enjoy spending time with others over physical gifts. If someone cannot afford a great gift for their grandmother, they could offer to bake cookies with her.
Maybe your family can sit down and watch a movie together on Disney+ or another streaming service that has already been paid for. Just being present though, is the most valuable thing that anyone can ask, especially for college students.
Please do not spend too much money this holiday season. Live within your means so that later in life, the debt from this stage of life, if any debt at all, is small.
There will come a time where a Christmas splurge is in the budget. Enjoy the holiday break and make the memories good ones.