Shopping on a Grad School Budget

shopping

Thanksgiving is usually the beginning of the Holiday season. Some people would argue that Halloween is but they are wrong :p. It is going to get busy for everyone in grad school here on out. You are probably neck deep in papers, presentations, experiments, loans, everything. Trust me, this time of year can get crazy just from school, but remember that there are other things that will probably make you say “I quit” such as present shopping and visiting family. The long drives to see family are also crazy and I suggest checking out how to make them easier (blog post here).

I did write about all of the stress that comes from the end of the semester but today is about the stress of the season. As a grad student, you are both an adult and college kid at the same time. It kind of stinks because, while everyone else is going on trips, buying presents, spending money, you are studying for finals, trying to get presents that you can afford, as well as just trying to be able to survive at this time of year. Money is sparse so I want to list off a few things to maybe do to save money and make everyone happy with gifts. Also, you need to be able to treat yourself too. This is extremely important. Here is a list of ideas on how to still save money and have a great holiday season.

1) Get crafty

I highly suggest making people presents instead of buying presents. Unless I really need something, a homemade gift is the best thing to get me. Anything edible is a plus to be honest. Many people don’t really want anything, but we all sort of expect to get gifts. It’s human nature, honestly. So instead of spending hours at a store or online shopping, why don’t you get crafty and make a gift. You can even do some wood carvings ;). If that’s not something you want to do, I highly suggest just baking a cake or cookies or something. It will be extremely cheap and everyone loves a food item.

2) Go to a local shop and buy something homemade

If you don’t feel crafty, taking a trip to a local market or shop is a great way to get gifts for everyone. They will most likely have things that you definitely won’t find on Amazon. You are also supporting local businesses which is a major plus. Bring a friend along and help them find gifts as well. Local shops usually have really high quality items too that are extremely unique and fun. This is probably what I am going to do this Christmas.

3) Stick to a budget

This is so hard to do some times but it is essential. count up all of the people you will get gifts for and then maybe assign a dollar amount to them. Couples are easy because they can count as one person lol. Next, add up the amount you assigned, tack on a factor of probably 1.25 and that will be your amount to stay under. the 1.25 gives you a more realistic goal since you will probably end up paying more for some people. If you can keep under budget, that’s great. Use the left over money to pay for rent :).

4) Try to reduce guilt when buying things

You may feel guilting for buying and not buying things. Some people expect fancy gifts, this does not mean you need to get those gifts for them. If they really want to get a diamond necklace for Christmas, you may need to let them know that you literally cannot get that for them. Spend within your means, please! Plus, if you do buy them something that amazing, they will probably expect that every year. Don’t do that to yourself. You may feel guilting for not buying expensive gifts for other, but just know that you come first. I’d rather not have anxiety because of finances than make people happy with expensive gifts.

5) Limit who you give presents to

Get your family and friends presents, of course. But, you don’t need to get 3rd cousin Charles a gift or the guy that lives 4 doors down from you that said hello to you one day. You can definitely be generous and get them gifts but maybe go with more of a baked goods approach. You don’t need to go broke to please everyone.

These are all things that I am definitely taking into consideration when getting presents for those in my life. Please be mindful about small stuff such as this. You don’t need extra stress in your life. If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed during this time, take a step back and get away from the stress. I know that is hard but your mental state is far more important than the stress that comes with the holidays. I hope you guys have a good end of the semester and remember to take many breaks. Also, be kind to yourself. Show more love to yourself and others. That’s what this time is about anyway. Thanks for reading!

Interesting Halloween Facts

Halloween is Sunday, so it’s a perfect time to blog about some cool facts that I have learned. Some of these I learned a long time ago in elementary school when learning useless facts like these was actual a thing. Now, in grad school, we have to learn about things that “matter”. I’m sorry, but knowing that the Bermuda Triangle exists and that a tomato is a fruit are pretty important, in my opinion. Anyway, Here is a list of some really interesting Halloween facts that you may or may not have known about.

1) Halloween developed out of the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain

View of Dark Hallway

2) The National Confectioners Association estimates that around 35 million pounds (over 15,000 metric tons) of candy corn are sold annually.

3) According to candyindustry.com, Reese’s cups are Florida’s favorite Halloween candy. Check out your states favorite.

4) The holiday was not called All Hallows Eve until 1556.

5) In Walnut Creek, California, USA, you actually need a permit to wear a mask on Halloween. They created this law to try to prevent people from causing trouble.

A Family Wearing a Diy Cardboard Box Mask

6)According to an old Irish legend, the practice of carving produce for Halloween comes from a man named Stingy Jack who once invited the devil for a drink.

7)Halloween is the second-most commercial American holiday of the year.

8)Candy wasn’t given out to trick-or-treaters until the 1950s

9)Skittles are America’s favorite candy.

Colourful Candies

10) The fear of Halloween is called Samhainophobia.

11) The world’s longest walk through horror house is the Dragons House of Horror in Albuquerque, NM.

12)The most lit jack o’lanterns on display is 30,581

Jack-o'-lantern

13) Michael Myers’ mask is actually a William Shatner mask

I hope some of these facts were brand new to you. I know they were to me. Let me know in the comments other interesting Halloween facts that you know of. Also, if you haven’t already, check out my list of things that I am grateful for (link here). Have an awesome day everyone. Also, enjoy the funny video below.