Dear Badger,

Christmas is a difficult time for everyone’s pockets every year (unless you’re alone, sorry). For most of us, Christmas is a time of giving, receiving, breaking down and crying as we look at our bank balance. Yeah, it’s pretty tough. And if you’re a first year, or even in your final year, you’re probably finding it difficult to rub two pennies together (no seriously, we’re all pretty poor at this point in the term).

So here are a few tips to make a little go a long way:

Secret Santa: It’s a fun idea and genuinely saves you money. Instead of having to buy each other individual presents for everyone, you just randomly pick one another. That way you save money, and if you’re really, really lucky, you might even get a decent, or even heartfelt present. Or some weird card wallet that’s absolutely useless (sorry Elizabeth, I carry a lot of pennies).

My second tip has saved me a couple of times during the festive season. Instead of trying to find that perfect present, just get them lots of cheap things, like a bundle present.

Whether it’s a crazy amount of chocolate bars, or even socks (trust me, they’ll thank you later) it’s a really effective way of filling up the stocking quota. They won’t look at it like the price, they’ll be more like “woah, look at all this stuff wooooo!!” You really can’t lose with this. My third and final piece of advice is just make them something.

Obviously no one’s expecting you to be able to make an xbox one completely from scratch, but maybe a really cool mix-tape, a jumper if you have the skills, or something as ridiculously corny as a friendship bracelet – people still have those, right? At the end of the day they’ll be touched that you made the effort and it’s usually a lot cheaper to make something than to buy it.

Especially on uni funds. So yeah, hopefully this will help you lot out with the season of good will and not make you seem like a heartless bugger. Remember, it’s the thought that counts, not the gift – well, sometimes it is, but hopefully you’re giving presents to people who appreciate them and aren’t snobs. Damn snobs.

Ryan Magil 

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The Badger

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