Life as a student can get a little tricky at Christmas, with loans running low and lots of restaurant invites in between budget gift planning. If you’re finding yourself getting a little stressed over the festive season, our student survival guide will help you find your cheer once again!
Here are the best tips you’ll find on how to survive Christmas and make it a break from studies to remember:
Opt for Secret Santa
Get your University pals and home friends to get involved in Secret Santa, where each person in your group gets assigned a name to buy for; everyone gets a present but you don’t have to buy for them all and spend a fortune. You can go online and use a Secret Santa generator for free, so it really is a great way to give. Just make sure you all agree on a reasonable budget, something in the region of £10-15.
It’s true that most student gifts don’t need to break the bank, as people prefer the thought rather than how much it cost. Isn’t it much better to get something unique, rather than something expensive but unwanted? If you’d like to get something special within budget, look for presents you can personalise just for them. At StarGifts.com you can put your own message and their name on gifts so they’re always one of a kind.
Another top tip to bear in mind is most people will have to transport their gifts home, so go for something smaller that’s easy to pack into a light travel bag. Think about recent antics in your house share for inspiration; like that phone case they’ve been talking about or a replacement mug for the one they knocked over after a night out.
Set a clear budget
Not only for present giving, you need to know how much you’re working with for the next few weeks at home. You might be afraid, but check your bank balance, have a cry if it’s needed, and then work out how to put it to good use.
You’ll want to assign funds for shopping, meals and transport, all of which can be checked online from the comfort of your parent’s luxury sofa. If spreadsheets are too much for this time of year, just go for old fashioned pen and paper… which’ll also make it seem less intimidating.Host a get-together
So, your budget is a little low but you’re a social butterfly; don’t stay in alone. Invite your friends round to your house for a celebration and get everyone to bring one food item. Before you know it, you’ve got a full-blown feast on your hands, so just sit back, relax and put on the party tunes.
Don’t forget your parents
When it’s the middle of term, it’s quite easy to forget your parents are at home missing you, so when you’re back, make an extra effort. It’s actually one of the best ways to spend your break as it’s completely free and totally in the Christmas spirit. If you also think they deserve a present in addition to the gift of your company, make them drop some hints.
Ask them before the big day if there’s anything they’ve been looking for and take a look around your home for anything new you could accessorise. If they’ve finally invested in a smartphone, you could get them a phone case featuring their favourite TV Show characters. For Dad, this could be Family Guy, and for Mum it could even be her guilty pleasure… 1D ring a bell?
Make use of student discounts
Don’t forget your NUS card as you get tempted with a bit of Christmas shopping for yourself. You get 10-20% off at a lot of popular high street stores, so keep it handy when you’re out of the house. Before you buy, work out your savings in your head and have a quick think to see if it’s worth it, then enjoy!
Try not to travel
It’s cold and grey outside, the trains are all delayed and your young person’s railcard needs to be renewed. At Christmas, it’s expensive to get around, but more than that, it’s a hassle. Commuters are still going strong and before long, they’ll all be heading home for Christmas as well. With reduced services, engineering works and grumpy members of the public just wanting to be home, stay inside by the fire and revisit your childhood with Disney.
You’ll appreciate this bit of advice when you wake up from your nap to find out its snowed and everyone’s stranded…
Any break from University should be a fun time spent where you can relax a little and get pampered at home. At Christmas, this is doubly so, with great food, parties and presents thrown into the mix. Try not to worry too much about your finances; if you keep to your plan, there won’t be any nasty surprises.
So, now you know how you can reduce stress during the festive season and get yourself some affordable festive fun and a break from studying. Happy Christmas!