Holiday gift-giving tips for broke students

Eight ways to make your money go further in the face of a receeding ecomomy

By Tara Ricks |

The holidays can be a stressful time for all of us, especially college students. When it comes to money, most of us don’t have a lot to throw around buying presents for everyone.

“I feel guilty because I can’t afford to buy gifts for people I feel deserve them the most,” said Sarah Locke a senior at Flagler College. “In times like these I have to get creative.” offers shoppers advice on how to have fun and save money doing it. Their goal “is to put the happy back in holidays.” They have offered up a list of eight helpful tips to bring some ease to the average shopper during these rough economic times.

Start by saving yourself some time. Do some ground work. Most college students major in procrastination. Make it a little easier on yourself and make a list of all the people you want to shop for this year, as well as how much you want to spend on each person.

Secondly, shop online. Who likes standing in long lines and fighting their way through crowds?

Shopping online lets you compare prices and find the best deals. After Thanksgiving, companies began offering free shipping deals.

Go green and save by sending E-cards this year. You won’t have to pay for postage and they are guaranteed to arrive on time. If you are really short on time, send a gift card that attaches to your eGreeting.

A big money saver is group gifting. If you have a large family or a large group of friends, put everyone’s name on a piece of paper and drawn names.

It will be easier on your pocket and theirs too.

Or buy a gift card that the entire family can enjoy, like going out to dinner or seeing a movie.

Three words. Do it yourself. We all know grandparents and parents love pictures — take moments from your past and make a calendar.

Your local office supply stores normally offers calendars and book ideas for under 10 bucks.
Our go even cheaper and make homemade slide shows or personalized music CDs.

Another way to save money is to go light on gift-wrapping. Go Green and use recycled paper, it’s cheaper and you’re helping the environment.

Or have a gift wrapping party and have everyone bring over wrapping paper and ribbons.

Everyone gets to share and express his or her creativity at the same time.

Lastly, do less traveling. If you can’t go home for the holidays and it costs too much to host a dinner, invite local relatives and friends for a holiday potluck.

It takes a little planning, but everyone will get to try a variety of food, and have just as much fun as going to a fancy restaurant.

The holidays can be stressful enough without adding the stress of giving presents to everyone.

It’s important to remember that whatever way you decided to cut costs these holidays, don’t forget the holidays are more about the art of giving than receiving.

It’s better to give a small gift from the heart than to give a large gift just for recognition.

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