Solutions for Spending Over the Holidays

Christmas is almost always marketed as a time for joy. It often means fairy lights, carols and gift giving to friends and family.  

But for many, it can actually be a very stressful time, particularly for students. Between paying for accommodation, exams, society trips and the onslaught of ‘Christmas drinks’, it can be a heavy season for spending. This is still without the gift giving.  

The stress can also stem from having large families with a lot of people who you are expected to buy for. Buying for a partner’s family can also add to the load.  

Research from Mastercard has shown that the average person will spend €755 on Christmas gifts alone this year. Ebay estimates that this year, Irish people will spend €142 million over the Black Friday weekend in preparation for Christmas. This is without all the social aspects of the festive season. 

Students from Trinity and UCD have the added pressure of studying for Christmas exams. Emily Rees, a third year Trinity student said, “It's really hard to manage my time around Christmas season because studying has to take priority, but I also need to prepare for Christmas and earn some extra cash for presents so I need to work more. But then, in Christmas spirit, I ought to spend time with my friends, and then there’s the Christmas shopping that has to be done.” 

Negotiating who to buy presents for and who to see can be difficult if money is lacking.  

Kris Kindles are often the best way of getting out of having to buy all your mates presents. This way everyone agrees a set price limit but everyone still gets a present. However, you are running the risk of getting someone that you have no ideas for, but if it’s the cheapest option, it can be worth it.  

If going down the Kris Kindle route isn’t for you, agreeing with your close friends or partner on price limits for presents is also a good way of saving cash for the festive season. It may be an awkward conversation at first but often the other person will be grateful that the pressure will be lessened somewhat for them too. 

Present pooling is particularly handy for families. Does your dad want that really expensive new tablet? Splitting costs with other members of your family is a classic and can be a major dig out for those with less to spend.  

If you’re already panicking about what affordable gifts to get others for Christmas, shops such as Tiger and Lush offer cheap and cheerful presents that suit just about anybody.  

Designist on George’s street and George’s Street Arcade are great places to find random little inexpensive knick knacks that you didn’t know you or whoever you’re buying for needed for Christmas.  

Alternatively, you could agree with your family or friends to go out for a lovely dinner or evening out instead of giving presents. This will not only help with saving money but will mean you get to spend quality time with loved ones.