Big list, little money

By: Chloe Kellams

As the upcoming weeks of frenzied shopping and holiday spending approach, stress is at an all time high and wallets are at an all time low. With unemployment hitting 10.2 percent in October, according to American Research Group, money and savings are especially scarce this holiday season.

During this excessively consuming holiday, most everyone struggles to manage holiday expenses, the hardest being gift purchases.  Young adults and teens often have the most difficult time managing this pricey holiday because of the balance of school and for most of those over the age of fifteen, a part-time job as well.

“Budgeting is difficult because I have to make sure I have enough money left over for my own essentials,” senior Jimmy Noble said.

Noble is a part-time employee at Best Buy and is planning to spend money on his girlfriend, brothers, and friends this season.

Demographics have recently shown that young adults generally plan to increase spending on gifts this year, while middle-age adults plan to cut back on spending according to a Gallup poll done in early November.

This statistic comes as no surprise considering the different groups of people that teens have to shop for.  These individuals include, and are not restricted to, significant others, parents, siblings and friends.  Instead of going out and buying each person their own individual present, why not try some alternatives?

Seniors Addison Wynn and Molly O’Malley plan to make some of their own gifts for the upcoming holidays.

“I am programming a computer version of the game Dreidel for my friend,” said Wynn.  On the other hand, O’Malley is planning on making mix CDs and photo albums for her loved ones.  Both Wynn and O’Malley agree that homemade gifts are more personal and save money.

While keeping the uncertain future of the economy in mind, and the average salary of a minimum wage student, here are some tips for helpful budgeting throughout the holidays: Decide on a concrete dollar amount you want to allot for spending, and stick to it.  Try and use cash only, that way you will know exactly how much you are allowing yourself to spend. Be shrewd when creating a master list of those to purchase gifts for; try to limit presents to one per person. Consult craft stores, magazines and even The Blotter for ideas about making presents rather than purchasing them.

Added bonus?  You appear thoughtful and devoted while saving money.

There’s no need to stress this December. There are plenty of savvy ways to save money and still give the most thoughtful gifts to the special people in your life.

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