Christmas on a Budget

Christmas is just around the corner, but you are a poor student, and have a very limited budget for purchasing gifts for everyone you care about. Here are five ways that you can spend less money on Christmas gifts.

1. Thrift store
The thrift store is a great place to buy things at a low price. They will be used things, but you can often find gently used clothing, toys, dvds or books for a fraction of the price you would pay if you bought new items.

2. Make your own gift basket
Gift Baskets are one of the least personal gifts, and they often give you sample sizes of things that would be cheaper and more efficient to buy piece by piece. Try being creative. Make a bath set for your aunt with cheap bubbles, soap, and bath salts. Make an art set for your younger sibling by buying markers, construction paper, glue and scissors.

3. Gag gifts
A gag gift is any kind of gift that you give someone with the intention of it being a joke between you, and they can be a great deal of fun. They are personal and tend to be cheap. There was one year when I was in high school that I found a hubcap on the side of the road. I took it home, put a bow on it and gave it to my brother with a note saying that I would get him the “rest of the car… later.” Dollar stores are a great place to buy them, but there are funny things everywhere and many of them are free.

4. Regifts
Did you ever get a gift that you didn’t really want or receive clothes which were wildly out of your size, thus completely unusable? As long as you haven’t used the item it is okay to wrap it up and give it away to someone else. It’s not only free, it helps you get rid of something you don’t want!

5. Made by you
Cards are an easy and personalized gift. My sister has made cards for everyone every year since she has been in college. She writes a special message and draws a picture on the front of each card that is personally symbolic to the gift receiver.

There are other ways of making cheap gifts. You could buy baking ingredients to make cookies or some other kind of food for people on your list. You can make jewelry from string and beads. If you have an artistic or musical talent you can use these talents to create cheap gifts such as writing a song, making a sculpture or painting etc. making sculptures, painting, etc.

By being pragmatic and a little creative about your Christmas spending, you can spend less money on gifts. You may even find that your cheap presents are more heartfelt and individualized than the typical presents you would buy. Take a little of the commercialism out of Christmas this holiday season and use your imagination to your financial advantage!

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