Getting through the holiday period can be difficult when you’re on a student budget, but it can be done. From learning the art of swapping to getting some extra hours at work, our tips might be just what you need.
Swap your plans for budget alternatives
This is one of the easiest ways to get through the holidays on the cheap. You might exchange your shopping centre trip for a morning at your local market — or, better yet, clear out your room and set up your own market stall with friends to make some extra cash. If you’re planning a dinner catch-up with friends, why not host a barbeque at home or in a local park instead? You can also check out your local paper or online city guides to see what’s on in your area. You’re bound to find low-cost or even free activities, such as gallery openings and free film screenings. This means that you’ll have extra funds when you need them most — when you’re splurging on Christmas presents or celebrating the new year.
Look for student holiday deals
Do your research and you will find plenty of holiday options suitable for the humble student budget. There are even companies that specialise in accommodation and flight deals for students and young people, as well as ‘deal of the day’ websites where you can snap up a holiday bargain. And don’t forget that there are travel opportunities in your own state too, so why not see what’s on offer in a regional town or take your friends to your favourite childhood holiday spot? If you’re travelling with friends and worried about spending big on accommodation, you could try out camping or organise to rent a family friend’s holiday house at a lower rate.
Consider taking on extra work over the break
The easiest way to fund your holidays is to take on some extra work over the break. If you work in an industry like retail or hospitality, which naturally get busier over the holidays, ask your manager if you can take on some extra shifts during the week. If you’re keen on getting work experience in your field, a paid internship is another option. Browse job listings and visit company websites to see what’s available — you might even find a full-time spot to fill in for an employee taking an extended holiday. Music and food festivals are also a good place to find work, and often come with a free ticket (meaning you can enjoy yourself once your shift ends).
Take time out to relax
Getting the most out of your holidays doesn’t have to mean always being on the go. Taking time out of your schedule to relax will not only mean you return to your studies refreshed, but it also ensures you won’t blow your budget on daily outings. Catch up on your favourite TV shows, read all those novels you haven’t had time to devour, begin writing a blog, start a new fitness plan or even do some DIY around the house (there are some great ideas on Pinterest and crafty websites and blogs). You might also consider taking a weekly class, whether it’s to learn how to cook an international cuisine or try out a new sport. Low-cost options are readily available — check with your local council and student services team on campus.