For students, the festive season is something we all find daunting. Town centres being painted with lights, store windows enticing you into their winter deals and the Christmas adverts starting eight weeks before the big day even arrives – the list is endless. Everything about Christmas screams money, and for a lot of us, it’s a time where we question… how are we going to afford everything? From tips on how to decorate your living room to where to go to save money presents, this article will give you some advice on how not to stress during the most expensive season of the year.

Decorations

Every year we all encounter a debate of when is the most acceptable time to hang up the decorations. Some like it as soon as Halloween has been and gone, when others swear it’s not allowed until we’re officially in December. Yet regardless of your preference, the easiest and cheapest method of decorating your bedroom or lounge area is by making paper snowflakes and hanging them from your ceiling. For best results, getting a few housemates in on the plan at once will make sure all snowflakes look different and unique – just as they should be. Do note: some landlords are stricter than others when it comes to sticking things on walls and ceilings, so whether you can get away with Blu-tack is your call. In case you do have strict landlords, it is recommended to get some non-damage removable tape just to make sure you won’t incur any damage fees!

Don’t leave things to the last minute

If you’re working with a budget the last thing you want to experience is walking into a shop with a specific present idea in mind, to realise they’re out of stock. Organising presents in advance will give you the choice of everything that stores have to offer, so getting a present under budget is better than splurging out on something £20 more in an unnecessary panic. A lot of high street stores have an online presence, so having a gander on what you’d like to give will not only make your Christmas shopping cheaper, but a lot more efficient.

Top Store Deals

Boots announced earlier this year that their 3-for-2 deal on Christmas gifts wouldn’t be happening – until everyone went into meltdown! Lo and behold, they then announced its back on track, with other high street stores taking a page out of Boots’ book. Debenhams and Argos Toys are amongst the many who are holding deals this Christmas on their gifts. However, the best thing about Boots is that once Christmas Day has been and gone, all their stock goes for 50 percent off!

Savvy Secret Santa

Instead of purchasing presents for each individual person you know, it might be worth organising Secret Santas in groups instead. Not only will this require less organisation, but it’s also an exciting way to give and receive presents without the expensive price tag. An example of this is by doing Secret Santa with your housemates, another with friends outside of university and a final with close family. Alternatively, for those who want to make their Secret Santa unique, have your group meet in a shopping centre and draw the names there and then. Everyone has a one-hour time limit to find the perfect gift for their person. This makes the whole experience more memorable with added excitement.

An experience worth remembering

A gift doesn’t always need to be something physical. Making memories with the ones you love can be more valuable than something anyone can buy from a shelf. Whether it be a voucher for a restaurant or a spa day for two, there are many places that promote experiences as gifts that are very affordable. Sites such as Groupon and Wowcher are known for offering consumers something a bit different for a reasonable price, so it is definitely worth having a look to see if there is something on there that might catch your eye for someone special.

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