How To Help Your Bank Account Survive Christmas

You don’t have to be the Grinch of Ebenezer Scrooge to experience that stressful knot in your stomach when you realise that Christmas is just around the corner. While the rest of the world lights up with fairy lights and tinsel, the thought that dominates your mind is how your bank account is likely to suffer over the festive period.

It is estimated that the average Brit spends around £445 on Christmas every year, a figure that has risen steadily over the last few years. When you’re studying full time at university, you might find that you’re keeping an eye on your spending more than any other time in your life. As a student, you’ll be dedicating your time to something that you won’t receive a salary for, which makes what money you do have all the more precious.

At Christmas time, parting with money is an inevitability, but you don’t have to see out the year in financial destitution. Here are some top tips to help you save a bit of money over Christmas time.

Do be afraid to get creative

It’s not an exaggeration to say that a homemade gift can say more than one that is bought from a shop. There’s plenty of ideas out there if you’re willing to put a bit of work in to save giving your money away to a shop. If your university is having a craft fare over Christmas, be sure to pop in for a browse to see if you can snap up a bargain.

If you don’t feel up to making a gift, you could always try your hand at home making your own Christmas cards. You can personalise them to each person you’re sending them to, and it’ll save a couple of pounds from a generic pack from a supermarket. If you want to go fully frugal, hand deliver cards within a reasonable distance. With the volume of mail that gets delivered at this time of year, they’ll most likely beat the postman!

Staying in is the new going out

We all know too well that after exams are over, going out for a Christmas tipple can be the equivalent of throwing money onto a burning Yule log. Here you can get a little creative to try and save money on drink, taxis and late night trips to the chip shop.

Why not invite your friends round for a Christmas movie night over a bottle of mulled wine? Supermarket prices will always trump inner city bars, plus you can stay as long as you want, you don’t have to wait to get served at a crowded bar, and only your friends will judge you for putting It’s A Wonderful Life in the DVD player.

Home is where the savings are

If you stay in halls, or go to university in a different city from your family home you’ll most likely staying with your parents or family over the festive period. Don’t be afraid to take full advantage of this situation. Home-made meals, your washing done, and food in the cupboards; not to be sniffed at! And if you find that after Christmas dinner there’s some spare turkey left overs going, take them for your freezer. Turkey pieces can go into a curry, and even if you’re only left with the bones, why not make some soup?

If you overspend, it’s not the end of the world

Unfortunately, for all the creative frugality that you might demonstrate throughout December, spending more money than you would expect can be unavoidable. If you do end up on the wrong side over your overdraft, the worst thing to do is panic. There is plenty of support in place, be it in the form of student hardship funds or online debt management plans. The worst thing you can do is ignore debt and think that it will go away on its own. Take advantage of all the help and advice that is out there to ensure you have an enjoyable, stress-free Christmas before lectures start up again in January.   

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