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Christmastime – is it the best time of the year or your time to go broke? If you’re noticing how empty your wallet is and don’t even want to look at your next statement, you’re definitely not the alone. The season of giving is great, but can come at a cost if not budgeted properly. That’s where shopping smart comes in; finding great gifts and saving money really isn’t as hard as we thought!

  1. Set a Budget and stick to it. If you set a total budget, you can make decisions based on it accordingly and have control on how much you spend. You can also split the budget up for individuals you’re buying gifts for either equally or in a way that doesn’t exceed the total, and then look for gifts in that price range.
  2. DIY Gifts. Do it yourself gifts are great! Most of these gifts are more personal and will probably mean a lot more to the person you’re giving it compared to something store bought . Plus, it’ll help you save big time can be a lot of fun to make. Check out pinterest.com for lots of creative ideas!
  3. Have a potluck. You can buy the ham, or turkey, or any other main dish your family eats on Christmas and have others bring the sides. Not only will it save you money and time, but you can get to try many different dishes and learn more about your family. Remember sharing is caring.
  4. Shop early and shop sales. Black Friday is a great time to pick up gifts at a great price and finish your Christmas shopping early. Be warned though, there may be some crazy long lines, but it’ll be worth it I assure you! There are also many sales that go on after Christmas, especially on Christmas themed items, and it’s never too early to start thinking about next Christmas.
  5. Try yard sales and thrift stores. You can find lots of unique, quirky, and interesting items at yard sales and thrift stores. Most of the items are either new or in great condition and come along with great prices. Try visiting a local Goodwill and shop while supporting a great cause.

Those are some tips that may help you with your shopping this season. But remember, gifts aren’t everything! Christmas is about being with family, celebrating, and creating memories. Happy holidays and happy savings!

 

This post was contributed by Krista Yost, a sophomore landscape architecture major.

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