It’s finally that time of the year to deck the halls, drink hot chocolate out of that famous red Starbucks cup and to sing Maria Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” at the top of your lungs. It’s a time to give back to the people you know and love, creating a hole in your wallet resulting in severe financial strain for students.
With the rising amount of debt students acquire, buying presents for your friends and family is added stress on top of finishing up the school year with final assignments and exams. All this pressure is forcing students to come up with alternative solutions for this gift-giving season.
“I’m just looking for cheaper options for certain gifts. Like if I want to get my sister a highlighter or like makeup, I’ll just look for a cheaper option instead of the most expensive,” says Alex, a student at Fanshawe College.
While budgeting can seem daunting to students, Darren Chapman, Fanshawe’s Business and Economics teacher explains how if you start saving in advance, the holiday season doesn’t have to break the bank.
“The best thing to be done is probably come September, every month or every couple of weeks, just throw money into a savings account or some jar that you’re not going to touch and week-by-week or month-by-month, those funds just add up,” says Chapman.
If it’s too late into the season to start saving money, sometimes the best gift is something small. For parents or loved ones, Chapman believes that “We [as parents] would value your time, or something special, a letter, a story or comment that means something to us, rather than something that is monetary that is put into a drawer.”
Instead of focusing on the consumerist, monetary presents that are so rampant in today’s society, focus on something with meaning to alleviate any and all stress when it comes to your financial situation.