As we head into the first week of December, students are heading into the last couple of weeks before they get their first major break of the school year - Christmas Break. Along with all the smart thing students should do financially when it comes to buying gifts, there are some general housekeeping items you should keep in mind.
First - are you going to be travelling home for the holidays? How are you travelling? Carpool, flying, bus - getting picked up by parents? If you plan on driving yourself - why not put up a posting at school to see if anyone living near you could use a ride home. It will give you some company on the drive and can help defray the cost of gas.
When you do go home - and all your roomates are gone as well - do the usual things such as unplugging ALL electronics. You'll be gone a minimum of two weeks, if not more. Not having electronic items using energy when nobody is home could save you a little bit on your December electricity bill. I know, I know - frugal this and frugal that!! Trust me, it all adds up in the end.
This is one most people overlook. Your cell phone emergency address should be set to your college address while you are at school. That way if you call 911 the proper address shows up. If you travel home for a couple of weeks or more, be sure to change your emergency address back to your parents home just in case something happens during the holidays. It shouldn't take much effort to contact your cell carrier and make the necessary adjustments. That way emergency personnel can more easily find your location in case of emergency.
Finally, even though you are heading home for a much needed break, there is lots you can be doing while you are home. Foremost is researching and filling out online appplications for scholarships, bursaries and grants for students past their freshman year. It is currently prime time for scholarships and you don't want to waste a few weeks of precious time getting your applications out there. Spend an hour a day doing some legwork on the computer - maybe you'll end up making money over Christmas instead of just spending it!
If you haven't had a chance - please head on over the GroceryAlerts.ca for a great compilation Steven did in getting the 'Best Holiday Savings Tips' from some of Canada's top personal finance bloggers - yours truly included! Cheers!!