Balling on a Budget: 5 Ways to be Financially Savvy this Holiday Season

Dana Shugrue, Online Editor

Following a budget becomes difficult when the holidays come around. For college students, funds are already limited, which can make holiday shopping a little less joyful. However, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel — follow these five easy financial tips and you might actually enjoy “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Shop Cyber Monday

To all the procrastinators out there, holiday shopping isn’t something to prolong. Early December is (financially) the best time to buy Christmas gifts online. Take advantage of it. Amazon, Target and Macy’s are a few sites to check out on Dec. 9

Set a Spending Limit

Already thinking about Christmas gifts? Reach out to friends and loved ones about setting a spending limit. It’s easy for holiday shopping to empty pocketbooks and drain bank accounts. Make sure this doesn’t happen by sticking to a set amount.

Monitor Food Funds

Eating out can be extremely tempting, but dining at the caf and shopping for groceries is more financially savvy. Try to limit restaurant/fast food purchases to one or two nights a week. It’s surprising how expensive dining is.

Follow a Weekly Budget

Having a certain amount of money to spend each week really makes you think. While it’s easy to swipe a debit card left and right without thought, limiting purchases often leads to more mature spending habits. Adulthood is on the horizon, might as well start preparing now.

Make Sacrifices

Many people have spending habits that become fairly expensive. Drink Starbucks every morning? Cut it back to every other day. Head to the bar every Thursday? Try to go bi weekly. There are many ways to reduce spending, but they aren’t always easy.

Although the holidays are joyful, they’re also expensive. By following these five tips and planning in advance, the next few months will be more enjoyable and much less costly.