Walking through the mall right now is like being in the middle of a holiday explosion. It is common knowledge these days that as soon as Halloween is over, Christmas begins. Thanksgiving seems to have been downgraded to “the day before Black Friday.”
So now that the holidays have rounded the corner and smacked us in the face, we may realize that our pockets are empty as well as our savings accounts. Fortunately, we can still get by with the “but I’m a poor college student!” excuse for a little while longer.
So how do college students make it through this expensive season? Since the season finds a way to creep up on us every year, we might not be able to save as far in advance as we want.
Many of us have jobs to help get us through the holidays.
Sophomore pre-pharmacy major Moira Collier is a pharmacy technician at CVS. Though she does not make it a point to put money aside for the holidays; she deposits her money into her checking account. Once that reaches a certain amount, she transfers some to her savings account and will use it if she needs it. This year, she also started putting all of her loose change into a piggy bank.
“I’m only up to about $28, but every little bit helps,” she said.
Some family traditions help keep the season from getting too expensive.
“I don’t typically save for the holidays, but my family does a pollyanna so I only have to buy for one person,” Morgan Miller, a freshman English and communication major, said.
For those with big families, utilize that old saying, “It’s the thought that counts.”
Freshman business administration major Ryan Kaysen budgets for the holidays by trying to stay under $500.
“I have a large family and do a pollyanna with friends. I budget and look for things that a person likes rather than impressing them by giving huge gifts,” Kaysen said.
While saving money helps, knowing how to shop smart is just as important.
You can get great holiday shopping tips online from the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Their website, http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/online/edcams/holiday, offers ways to shop smart in the store and online.
Some of their tips may seem like common sense but can be overlooked in the midst of hurried holiday shopping. They offer consumer reports on topics such as whether or not a sale price is really your best deal and what to do if you feel that you have been somehow wronged with your purchases, especially those that you made online.