It’s a well-known fact that students need to save money wherever they can. Rising tuition fees, coupled with rising inflation causing a higher cost of living, has meant a bigger squeeze on finances and a need for students everywhere to tighten their purse strings.
With Christmas being a time where (along with seasonal goodwill) a fair amount of cash usually oils the wheels of the festive trolley, money saving tactics are now even more important. Here are five ways students can save money this Christmas without getting the reputation of being a scrooge.
- · Travel smart. Look out for student travel discounts when planning to travel home for the festive season and when getting around visiting friends and family during the month-long break. Combining early travel bookings with the use of railcards and coachcards can mean more pennies in the savings (or night out) jar. As for buses for getting around town, a student pass or day saver works out cheaper than paying the fare each time. As for taxis, we all become a little more frivolous at Christmas, but four weeks of not being careful with travel costs can really add up.
- · Use cost-effective shipping for overseas travel. If you are travelling abroad to see relatives or you are an overseas student coming home (or just using the break to do a bit of exploring), excess or heavy luggage fees (usually more costly when travelling with budget airlines) are not what you need. Money saved on a cheap flight can soon be negated with such charges, especially if you’re stuffing a sack full of Christmas gifts into the bag! Specialised luggage sending companies are an increasingly popular option for transporting bags and gifts at Christmas cost-effectively. Even when making your way home for Christmas on the train, using a door-to-door student removals and shipping service means you can get your belongings (and dirty washing) back without hassle.
- · Be a voucher scouter and shop early. There are a variety of online voucher code sites offering money-off deals for brand name items. A simple Google search will give you a variety of voucher sites with many offering subscriptions, so you can get live deals straight to your inbox as they launch. Most people know about Groupon, but there are other similar sites, such as recently launched Bespoke Offers and Deal Monster. Early November is also the perfect time to start your Christmas shopping online and on the high street, as there are deals and sales aplenty. Great for saving money on gifts for the family… but not for spending your student loan on new outfits for the party season!
- · Get crafty. Make presents and cards. Ok, you’re not five anymore, but craft and homemade is back with a vengeance. Maybe you’re into textiles and could turn your hand to a woolly scarf or a hand-sewn tree decoration or if you’re a budding baker, why not rustle up some homemade biscuits and other Christmas hamper items like jam and chutney? Are you a talented artist who could paint a Christmas scene on a canvas? These gifts offer the opportunity to give something truly personalised.
- · Get to work. A Christmas break can provide an extra opportunity to earn. Local bars, restaurants and shops may need extra staff cover and just a few shifts can help cover the extra cost that Christmas can incur.
Most importantly, enjoy Christmas for what it is; a rare opportunity to get together with family and friends to celebrate, kick back and relax. It really is the thought that counts, and if the finances really can’t stretch, a giant tin of chocolates in a room full of people always goes down a treat.
Adam Ewart is the founder of Send My Bag, a global courier service perfect for shipping luggage country-to-country and within the UK. Send My Bag allows travellers to transport belongings at an affordable cost. For more information on shipping to Australia, the US or anywhere in Europe, please visit www.sendmybag.com.