Kansas State University


Powercat Financial

Thrifty Gifting

The holidays can be a joyous time full of family, food, and gifts.  During this exciting time, it is important to keep a close eye on your spending.  On November 13th, Powercat Financial Counseling hosted the event Thrifty Giving to help K-State students manage their money during this potentially stressful season.  Listed below were some key tips mentioned at the event to help students stay within their means during the holidays.

Plan Ahead:

  • Set aside money each month that will go specifically towards those holiday gifts.  It can be very stressful to have a list full of gifts but not the money to buy them. Planning ahead and saving will allow you to relax because the money will already be saved up.
  • Staggering purchases throughout the year spreads out your spending and can make purchases more manageable.  Also, gifts may not always be the cheapest during the famous Black Friday Sales.  Monitoring prices of gifts you are interested in can help you get them cheaper than during the holiday season.

Get Organized:

  • Have an idea of who you will be buying gifts for and create a detailed shopping list according to the money you have saved.
  • Create a holiday budget and stick to it!!!

Be Creative:

  • To shorten your gift list suggest a gift exchange with your family or friends.
  • Big family dinners can be stressful, especially for the host.  Potlucks are a great way to spread the responsibility and costs around.
  • If your holiday plans involve traveling it is best to book as early as possible.  Airline tickets get more expensive as the holidays get closer.  Also, try to be flexible.  Instead of departing on a Friday consider Thursday.  Flights over the weekend tend to be more expensive.
  • The Holidays are a great time to use your Pinterest Boards!!!  Homemade gifts are so thoughtful!

Shopping Warning:

Consumers need to be careful with department store credit cards.  During the holiday shopping season stores often offer a percentage off your total purchase if you open a credit card account with them.  Shoppers may do this at every store they visit with the intentions of cancelling the credit cards once the transactions are complete.  This allows you to save money in the short-term; however, we discourage this tactic because doing this can actually decrease your credit score.

In addition to the helpful information discussed, participants also enjoyed an evening full of apple cider, delicious desserts, and prizes.  Students battled for country stampede tickets, holiday food baskets, and much more during games of holiday-themed family feud.   This fun event was just the thing to get students prepared for the exciting holidays ahead.  If you would like more information about how to cut spending and stress during the holiday season, you can make an appointment with Powercat Financial Counseling at www.k-state.edu/pfc.

Heather Gibson
Peer Counselor I
Powercat Financial Counseling

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