How to budget for the Holidays

[HAMMOND, La]- Lights, music, decorations,  and delicious seasonal smells grab the attention of holiday shopper’s sensibilities in every store.

According to a survey by the U.S. Consumer Outlook, 36 percent of respondents indicated that they are seeing more discounts,

Painting by Ambrosia Buckner

sales and promotions vs. last year compared to just 11 percent who said there were fewer.

Most college students invested some time in the Black Friday shopping madness right after Thanksgiving to save money on holiday gifts. Affordable gifts were easy to locate by researching the sales before they hit the stores.

“My trip to Black Friday was pretty successful,” said Andria Gilbert. “I bought a graduation dress that was originally $80 in the Mall of Louisiana, but purchased it for $15.”

Melissa Vindigo, a junior from Baton Rouge said, “I couldn’t believe how many people were actually outside the department store doors for 4:45 a.m.!”

“I think it was well worth the trip though. I can’t imagine the people who went searching for electronics at Wal-Mart though. I’ve heard horror stories about those kinds of trips,” said Vindigo.

Kati Douglas, a senior who works at Wal-Mart said, “I woke up at 4:30 a.m. because I had to be at work at 6:00 a.m.”

“Favorite student electronic discounts were available on cell phones, video game consoles, MP3 players, DVD and Blu-Ray players,” said Douglas.

Other savvy shoppers went online this year to save money. One of the more prominent promotions for online purchases is free shipping.

Henry Barimore, a freshman from Hammond said, “I hate to go in stores to shop for the holidays.”

“That’s why I usually go online to buy everything I need, said Barimore” “And besides the free shipping is a plus!”

Go to for more tips on how to budget for the holidays:

  • Decide how much you can spend
  • Make a complete gift list with the entire family present
  • Budget for everything
  • Decide who’s getting what
  • Start shopping now
  • Keep track of spending
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