Saving for the Holidays on a College Budget

By Misty DeGrave Teller at our South Milwaukee Branch

School has started, your tuition is paid and you’re only working part time with the holiday’s right around the corner. It might not be easy, but you can do it. Let me show you some ways to have a fun holiday season and not break the bank (or better yet, credit union).

Being a GCU member is already a great start to saving. GCU has teamed up with 5 area colleges to offer tuition discounts just for being a member. If you are going for an Associate, Bachelor or Graduate degree you can receive a tuition discount.

At Wisconsin Lutheran College you can get a $1000.00 scholarship just for being a member of GCU. That can buy or rent a few books.  You can check out how to apply for theses discounts by going online to or stopping in at any of the 6 GCU locations.

Your student ID is a value tool.  With it you can get savings at local restaurants, movie theaters, department stores and so much more. Some discounts can range from 10% up to 25% off.  So when you are at your favorite store ask if they offer discounts to college students.  When traveling home for the holidays remember your student ID, you will find savings at home with your ID as well.  Your ID might help you just as much as your books during your college years.

Another way to save for the holidays that is easier said than done is making a budget and sticking to it. Make a list of who you want to get gifts for and an estimated amount you want to spend per person.

When making your budget don’t forget the little things like holiday parties and travel expenses, those add up. You can find budget help online at places like Etsy or Pinterest.  You can open a Christmas club account that you can add to all year, and when shopping time comes you are ready to go.  Most of these accounts offer interest on them so you will even have a little extra money for that gift you forgot about (or to spend on yourself, you deserve it).

Saving on the gifts and staying within your budget can be as easy as being creative. Your local craft store may offer student discounts (with your ID} and a handmade gift is always treasured.  Have a cookie swap with your fellow students; you get a variety of treats for the cost of one with a side of fun.  Have a secret Santa party with a set dollar limit to spend.  You can find more savings on gifts online at Etsy, Pinterest and Facebook.

Have a safe and happy Holiday season.

You are now leaving Guardian Credit Union

You will be linking to another website not owned or operated by Guardian Credit Union. Guardian Credit Union is not responsible for the availability or content of this website and does not represent either the linked website or you, should you enter into a transaction. We encourage you to review their privacy and security policies which may differ from Guardian Credit Union.

You will be redirected to

Click the link above to continue or CANCEL