In This Story:
- College of William and Mary
- Texas Christian University
This season, the average shopper in America planned to spend around $801 on holiday gifts, down 6% from last year’s $854.
“Selling blood might be only way to afford Christmas gifts this year” @TheFakeCNN tweeted recently.
While that might be an exaggerated statement of how American budgets are tight this holiday season, there is some truth in the tweet.
This season, the average shopper in America planned to spend around $801 on holiday gifts, down 6% from last year’s $854, according to the American Research Group. Pair that statistic with an average student loan balance in excess of $24,000 and it’s often a challenge for college students to purchase gifts for friends and family.
Sophomore at Texas Christian University Olivia Trinca said that although she hasn’t found it too difficult to afford gifts, she does try to budget her spending a little more around the holidays.
“I usually save up money for a few months and spend a little less on myself to make sure I can afford the things I want to buy my friends,” Trinca said. “Sometimes I sell the clothes I never wear to consignment shops to make extra money.”
College of William and Mary sophomore Brooke Stewart said she faces an extra challenge of affording gifts for her friends and family because she is on the university’s varsity basketball team and is not allowed to have a job during the season.
Although Stewart said her family and friends do not necessarily expect her to buy gifts for them, she likes to do it and can usually find a way.
“I pay for the gifts with the money I saved from working over the summer,” she said. “I also shop a lot of sales and use Groupon. I don’t buy anything full-price — the clearance rack calls my name.”
And even if money is tight, students actually be pretty lucky when it comes to discounts.
Retailers like Apple, Banana Republic, Topshop and Amazon all give students special discounts.
And with plenty of websites that offer do-it-yourself ideas (star with Pinterest and the DIY Network), making gifts on your own certainly isn’t out of the question.
Regardless, Trinca said she thinks college students should give gifts to people they care about for as long as they can manage.
“If money is tight, there is always a way to make gift-giving affordable and it would be a shame to let the holiday spirit go to waste,” she said. “Gifts don’t have to be fancy, but students should do something to show their friends and family they care about them.”
Powered by Facebook Comments