How not to break the bank this holiday season

As college students, we are accustomed to the phrase, “balling on a budget.” During the holiday season, this phrase tends to be more relevant because, overall, we spend more money on gifts and other items than any other time. Wanting to buy gifts for all the new people you have met, along with your family and old friends, can get pricey, so below are some tips to help maximize mhow you use your money during this holiday season.

Don’t be afraid to get thrifty

Thrift shops hold plenty of hidden treasures. If you can’t find one near you, look online. Some thrift shops have online sites where their products are listed with quantities and detailed descriptions. Thrift shopping is a great way to save money because most items are being sold for at least half their original price. Some stores even have deals during the holiday season, causing prices to drop even further.

Timing is everything

Just the thought of Black Friday and Cyber Monday can evoke stress. However, these two days can produce insanely low prices. Cyber Monday doesn’t come with pushing and shoving in your local Walmart, and websites usually implement discounts on their shipping rates as well. However, beware of being put in an online check-out line. If someone ahead of you has the same items in their cart as you, those items could be removed from your basket if stock is low.

Student discounts

Thankfully, many stores offer student discounts and what better time to use them than the holiday season; just make sure you have your student ID at check-out time. If you’re shopping online, you may need a code since you can’t exactly send your student ID to the company. A site and app called Unidays, is geared specifically for college students and online shopping. Upon downloading the app, they ask for your university and student ID number to automatically qualify you for student discounts at hundreds of popular stores. But, be careful when trying to combine discounts; sometimes you can only apply one or a limited amount of codes per order.

Barter online prices

Similar to a combination of Plato’s Closet and eBay, is a site where people can buy and sell their gently used clothes and accessories. The company allows for bargaining between the owner of the item and potential buyer so the potential buyer can bring the price down. Stock is usually limited of the items but you’re guaranteed to find vintage name brands and newer brand name items at reasonable prices. Most of the time, the owner is willing to pay for shipping. This may not be true for everyone, just those who really want to get rid of an item.

Spending money as a college student is typically stressful due to the lack of funds coming into one’s bank account. But hopefully after implementing these tips, you can save some money, maximize your dollar, and be a little more stress free this holiday season.

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