Finding Christmas gifts on a budget

Shawntaye Hopkins

There’s some uncertainty on the Hill as the holidays approach.

Frankfort freshman Darrell Hughes said he usually buys gifts for his family and friends. But this season he said he’s not sure all of them will get gifts.

Hopkinsville freshman Sheena Oates said she will probably buy a gift for her mother and cards for everyone else.

These students aren’t Scrooges. They’re college students on a budget.

“Money’s tight,” Edgewood sophomore Amanda Gall said. “I’m not sure what will happen.”

Before she came to Western, Oates had a job and money to spend on her mother, grandmother and boyfriend. Now she just concentrates on class and relies on her family and a residual check for money.

And so as the Christmas season begins, some students are finding that low funds means they will cut back on how many gifts they buy or how much money they spend, or both.

“I’ll probably limit who I give the gifts to,” Hughes said. He has money saved in his checking account from a summer job, but he still plans to only buy gifts for family and close friends because cash is limited.

Nashville sophomore Susan Vaughn also worked this summer, but she saved some money from her day care job specifically for gifts. She said she’ll probably be able to spend the same amount this year as on previous holidays.

Vaughn planned ahead. But even some students who have jobs see some trouble coming this season.

Louisville senior Tony Davis has advice for students who find themselves shopping on a limited budget.

“Prioritize,” Davis said.

Davis works as a lab assistant at Helm Library. He said having a job helps with the cost of the buying gifts.

“It beats nothing,” Davis said. But he said he still can’t give as much as he wants to everybody.

Davis said his problem is he wants to give the best he can to his family, but that gets pricey.

He suggested that anyone on a tight budget should think about buying less expensive gifts such as gift cards and Bath & Body Works products.

Louisville junior Andrew Jackson said he catches good sales before Thanksgiving.

Shopping is a big part of the holidays. But Scottsville freshman Amy Jones said although buying gifts is important, there are other things to remember.

“The most important thing is being with the people you care about,” she said.