Christmas Shopping on a student budget

By Hannah Parker, BA (Hons) Business and Enterprise Management.

I know first-hand how hard it can be trying to budget your money as a student and it’s even harder when you have Christmas looming. Money can be so tight this time of year. You’ve still got rent to pay and food to buy and of course you still want to have a few nights out over the festive period. Factoring in your Christmas shopping to this can mean that it gets pretty expensive. So here are my top tips to getting through that Christmas shopping on a student budget.

  1. Black Friday Sales

Plan your Christmas shopping early to take advantage of Black Friday sales. This year, I browsed online for a few days and made a list of the things I wanted to buy and I signed up to the mailing lists for these websites to make sure I got the alerts, I then waited for the Black Friday sales and got everything much cheaper.

  1. Share the load

If you’re planning to have a Christmas party/meal over the festive period, then spilt the food and drinks and therefore the cost. Have an agreement that everyone brings one thing with them. I did this with my friends when we had a roast dinner and it worked out so well!

  1. Upscaling

This year I’ve been going to charity shops and buying inexpensive items that have lots of potential. I then upscale these and make them into beautiful gifts. I’ve used Pinterest to get lots of inspiration.

  1. Hand make your gifts

If it’s getting too expensive buying all these presents, then start making some of them. Last year I made some lovely frames and they cost me less than £2.50 each. (Some of them pictured below)

  1. Don’t forget to use your student discounts

If you’ve got the opportunity to save money, then why wouldn’t you? I make sure I check every time I go to the till in any shop as lots of places do student discount but just don’t advertise it much.

Just remember that Christmas is about being with the ones you love so don’t get yourself down if you can’t afford to get everyone lots of amazing presents. Your presence will be the most valuable gift!


If you enjoyed this post, then be sure to check out my personal blog all about my student life in Sheffield and lots of tips and tricks to student life. Find it at

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