How to save money this holiday season

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College is expensive and there are many reasons as to why college kids are broke. So, when it comes to the holidays, it’s important to budget and prepare for the storm ahead. Sure, the holidays are supposed to be so much more than just gifts but let’s be real, we’re pretty much adults now and people expect more of us. I’m not an expert but these are just my suggestions if you find that you’re low in funds.

  1. Start planning now.

Yes, it’s a little crazy to start planning what you plan to give to your _______, but in the long run it will help you get organized and budget your spending. That way, you have time to monitor sales, use coupons or save the money for something more expensive.

  1. Cut out unnecessary expenses

Are you a coffee junkie? Start brewing your morning coffee at home. Love to eat out? Maybe cook more meals at home and use coupons when grocery shopping. There are so many ways to cut out expenses. The first step is to look at your current expenses and figure out what you can change. Personally, I’m a makeup junkie, so in my case, I just need to stay from Ulta, Sephora, beauty sections in general and the internet and I’ll be good.

  1. Black Friday/Cyber Monday

There are many who say these sales are just marketing strategies but in my experience, I have found great deals for the items I was searching for. It’s worth giving it a shot and shopping around, who knows, you might find something really cool or perfect for a certain person in your life!

  1. Go the DIY route                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Pinterest anyone? If you have a passion for DIY, definitely hit up the craft store and make your gifts. It sounds cheesy but sometimes handmade gifts are a lot more significant and can cost less than something store bought. If you can knit, make someone a scarf or blanket. Like taking photos? Maybe create a nice frame or photo album for someone. Honestly, you could even bake some cookies or a loaf of bread and just wrap it nicely. Or create a basket tailored to your ________ and have fun with it.

Honestly guys, if you really need help keeping track of your expenses, create an account on www.Mint.com. There’s even an app for your phone! It’s a handy tool that will keep track of how you’re spending your money. You can create budgets on there and even link up your store credit cards. It even allows you to categorize your expenses and see your finances visually through charts, plus give you a heads up whenever you have a bill due. Even if you’re not using cards, you can still use this app because you’re able to input all your cash purchases. I’ve used it for about a year now and it’s a great tool to have when trying to handle your money. Best of luck with your holiday shopping!