By: Oliver Felisilda, RBC On-Campus
With the holiday season almost upon us, students across the country are asking: how can one’s wallet survive the pandemonium of spending this Christmas? Fear not! Found below are some pretty cool tips and tricks that will help strengthen your relationships and save you from the dreaded January poverty that happens to so many!
Tip # 1 – It’s the thought that counts. The holidays need not be a competition of the fanciest gifts or the wildest destinations. Instead, we should approach it as a great opportunity to spread love to our friends and family. The essence of gift giving, therefore, is that you are the gift to others by spending the time and effort to think about their needs or what they would enjoy. Therefore, if your budget can’t accommodate extravagant presents, getting crafty is no less wonderful an option. DIY some of your gifts, make a card, some art, jewelry, or food. Your effort will most certainly touch hearts.
Tip # 2 – Donate to a charity. Speaking of being crafty and spreading love, it may be worth considering donating to a charity that your loved one feels passionate about. You can make it in their name or let them know that you donated with them in mind. That way, you not only impact the lives of the people immediately close to you, you also ripple that impact to others. Doing some good for the world never hurts; even better when it is made in the spirit of genuine gift for those your friends and family care about.
Tip # 3 – Shop second-hand. Sometimes, the best gifts are pre-loved. If you are looking for an adventure like no other, look no further than your closest thrift store. Aside from being a wonderland of interesting trinkets, it may be the home of your next great deal. Red Deer has a good number of thrift shops that boast outstanding quality items. For would-be detectives of quality, who knows what amazing finds await?
Tip # 4 – Don’t miss out on free money. I don’t know about you, but the best deals in life are free (or discounted). So, this holiday season, make sure to take advantage of incentives by your local grocery store, financial products, or clothing stores. In addition, remember to ask if they have a student discount or a special promo for the holidays. Be patient and don’t knock it until you bargain!
Tip # 5 – Plan Ahead. Most importantly, we encourage you to plan your expenses ahead. Instead of buying at the height of the holiday season, buy your items after the holidays when they go on sale. Alternatively, consider buying your gifts early in the year when they’re not hot items yet. Furthermore, it would be ideal to identify a budget that you can use as a reference. Going above and beyond for your loved ones doesn’t automatically mean going beyond your means. Setting up pre-authorized transfers to a savings account is an easy way to accumulate savings over time. Avoid the stress by funding the purchase before making the purchase.
Don’t let gift-giving make your holidays stressful. You don’t have to choose between building relationships and having peace of mind. By leaning on your personal touch, being smart about your spending, and planning ahead, you are certain to have a yuletide season filled with warm smiles without the sinking feeling of the future catching up with you.