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It may seem early to start thinking about the holiday, but now that it’s November they’re just around the corner. Before you know it, Thanksgiving will come and go. Christmas and Hanukkah will be here and the gifts to go along with them. If you want to avoid being broke after this holiday season, try out some of these tips.

1. Start planning early

Start figuring out who you want to buy gifts for, how much you want to spend per person and how you’ll pay for it. Try using this Word holiday budget template to get started. Planning out your gifts will make the entire holiday season smoother and leave you time to enjoy the moments that really matter.  

2. Spread out your purchases

After planning out your gifts, start crossing them off one at a time. If you already know what you want to get your parents, buy it now. It’ll be one less person you have to worry about, so you have more time to figure out what to get your SO. Start buying in November and try to have everything done by mid-December. This will be easier on your mind and your wallet.

3. Only buy things on a discount

There are always discounts!!! If you’re buying something at full price, you’re overpaying. The most obvious sale is Black Friday. But, if you’d rather not fight off crowds at 2:00 am, most stores will offer discounts all through November and December. So keep an eye out for emails about discounts and check sites like Groupon for even more coupons.

4. DIY everything

Instead of buying overpriced gifts, try making your own! Pinterest is full of DIY ideas, so doing this should be pretty easy. You can save a lot of money by making things yourself instead of buying it overpriced from a store.

5. Do a gifting game with your family

My family has been doing this for years! Choose a holiday game like white elephant or Secret Santa and set a spending limit of around $10 or $15. It’s an inexpensive and fun way that will make for a great afternoon with your family.

6. Regift things you don’t use

This one may seem controversial, but no one will care (or know) if their gift was pre-owned. If you have a nice sweater you never wear, a speaker you never use, or an eyeshadow palette you’ve only used once, give it to someone else. Regifting helps you get rid of items you’re not using and gives them to someone who will. If anyone complains, be honest with them. Tell them you weren’t using it and thought they would enjoy it more than you. After all, it is the thought that counts.

Don’t stress about money this holiday season, collegiettes! Saving money and giving thoughtful gifts can easily be done. So just sit back and relax, we got you covered.

Sarah Larios

George Mason University '21

Sarah is a Senior at George Mason University where she is majoring in Global Affairs with a concentration in Media, Communication, & Culture. She is the Editor-in-Chief and Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at George Mason, previously serving as the Senior Editor and Marketing & Publicity Director. When she’s not editing articles, she can be found working as a Communications Intern, hiking in Shenandoah National Park, playing with makeup, or spending time with her husband.
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