Winter holidays are a truly magical time, even if it is not your favorite time of the year. When finals are over, and you really want to have a break with a joyful celebration, you might find yourself concerned about the limited budget. However, we assure you that there is no need to worry about it. We have a few ideas for you on how to spend holiday break, enjoy winter time, and not spend a fortune on fun activities. Let’s get started.
How to Make Your Budget Survive Holidays
The end of the year, winter holidays, spending break on campus – things that might become a challenge, money-wise. And it’s completely normal as we tend to spend more and plan less around the holidays. But that is what you should avoid in order to make your budget work.
Make sure you plan your holidays (or winter in general) budget ahead. Setting a realistic budget with gifts planned and other expenses considered. Don’t forget about the post-holiday period, and make sure to include regular expenses like rent or groceries into your budget plan.
Create a Shopping List
When you are on a money-saving mission, you need to stay away from impulse purchases. That is where shopping lists come in handy. Pick the gifts beforehand, and be sure to check the prices for the items in different places. After you have this purchase planned in your budget, avoid purchasing other things outside of your list.
Shop Early and Strategically
It’s important to start the gift-hunting early when the prices are not that high. You might also find a lot of great deals if you put some effort into shopping. Use store sales, discounts, coupons, or brand deals to save on your groceries. It surely takes some time, but your budget will only win.
If you are going to spend holidays on campus, you might need to think of the feast and its format. The most budget-friendly option for a nice holiday dinner would be a potluck one. Invite your friends and college mates to a Christmas dinner and ask them to each bring one dish so that everyone can enjoy a good variety of food.
The potluck format is a great way to save money and still get to enjoy a holiday feast. You don’t need to buy many groceries and can opt for one or a few dishes that you provide. Another great thing about potluck parties and dinners is that you can get acquainted with the family or national traditions of your guests. You may try various dishes that you have never heard of and also try yourself cooking something.
DIY Ugly Sweater Contest
A perfect type of activity with friends during holidays would be to start a contest. But when it comes to college students who don’t have much money or materials to work with, it’s best to keep the contest budget-friendly and simple. That’s why we suggest an Ugly Sweater Contest.
Ask your friends to come in an ugly sweater – they are madly popular now. You can opt for homemade decorations added to a sweater or keep it simple and thrift sweaters at a local thrift store. The winner with the most interesting sweater might get a prize that you all agree on.
Contests of any type are a great way to add a fun activity to your holiday schedule and a perfect opportunity to show your creativity.
Secret Santa Gift Exchange
Instead of buying a gift for each of your friends and pals, have a Secret Santa gift exchange. Encourage your friends to establish a gift budget limit and assign everyone a person to buy a gift for. A personalized, interesting, and quirky gift will surely bring a lot of joy and will be a better solution for those who want to save some money during the holidays.
Secret Santa gifts are not about the value but rather about the thought of the person for whom you buy a gift. A mug with a favorite meme, a piece of décor, a fandom small thing, a book, a funny T-shirt – all of these things don’t cost much but can make a lot of good memories.
Cookie Decorating Party
Having everyone together for the holidays is a pure joy and an essence of what it is supposed to be about – love, joy, and company. One such activity that can bring you and your friends together is a party. A cookie decorating party is one of the budget-friendly options that you can choose for this year.
Buy cookie dough and everything to decorate the cookies with – icing, berries, chocolate, and food colorants. Have fun with baking, decorating, and expressing your creativity. This is where everyone can create something special and fun.
Holiday Movie Marathon
Another great and cheap holiday activity idea is to host a movie marathon party with popcorn, snacks, friends, and favorite holiday movies. Such a marathon can also be held in the common area so that everyone from your dorm can join.
Watching movies, especially during the holidays, is a great way to spend time together, have a deep discussion, and get much-needed joy and festive emotions. It also doesn’t cost much as each of you can bring your own snacks or drinks to such an event.
Video Game Night
For those who live spending time playing video games, having a game night with pals is a perfect idea. Who said that Christmas video games are not a good way to spend holidays? Some of the main things about winter holidays are to have fun and reboot for the next semester, so if video games can do that for you, go ahead.
Picking titles for a video game night might seem hard, but it is actually not, as there are many Christmas-themed games. Pick your favorite genre, and you will surely find a lot of games that suit the topic. There are even Christmas horror games, in case you are a fan.
For everyone who is a fan of crafts and DIYs, a great option would be to host a holiday craft evening. Create your own Christmas décor, ornaments, paintings, or even costumes. If everyone brings materials or some thrifted items, it will not cost much at all. However, you and your friends will surely remember such an event that brought you so much joy.