Students plan to spend less this holiday season

by Kati HerrStaff Writer

As the Christmas season approaches malls and department stores are already filling with holiday shoppers. Companies are sending out catalogues and online stores are giving their Web sites holiday makeovers. But with hard economic times, college students may not be shelling out as much money on Christmas presents this year as they have in the past.

Junior Alicia Carlo is a category supervisor for the Southridge Mall Victoria’s Secret store. She says that while she is planning on spending less for Christmas presents this year, she thinks customers will continue to shop at their store.

“Our store is definitely a niche market and those that will want to buy, will continue to do so,” Carlo said. “It may be at a lower price point though.”

A survey given to 15 freshmen showed that on average, freshmen are willing to spend between $140-150 this year on Christmas presents. Many of the students surveyed said they are supporting themselves financially and are being more conscious about how much money they are spending.

“Being in college, I’m more independent and I think more about how I spend money,” freshman Aspa Papa said.

Freshman Chelsea Winegard agreed that spending her own money makes her think about what she buys a lot more than she used to.

“It makes me want to buy fewer presents because I’ve been spending my own money all semester,” Winegard said.

Freshman Cassie Bardole said that even though she is watching what she spends, that won’t stop her from giving quality gifts.

“I’m more conscious of the gifts that I give,” Bardole said. “However, I’m not going to sacrifice the quality and the meaning of the gifts just because I’m in college.”

Carlo also commented that being a college student, she thinks more carefully about how much she is spending on a weekly basis.

“I know that with the economic situation my parents may not be able to put money in my bank account anytime I’m low on funds,” Carlo said. “So I just have to watch my spending.”

Carlo also commented that customers likely will be spending money on mostly small gift items or gift sets in the Victoria’s Secret store this year.

“I think the economic situation of the country will influence what our customers purchase,” Carlo said.

With the country experiencing harder economic times, those purchasing multiple Christmas presents this year may need to go buy more thoughtful gifts than expensive ones. Instead of spending what little money they have, some college students are making gifts for loved ones or agreeing to spend time together rather than giving gifts.

“My best friends and I have decided to just make a ‘date night’ celebrating being together instead,” freshman Angela Auchstetter said.

A bad economic situation and a poor college student can be a bad combination, but it doesn’t have to stop the joy of gift-giving this Christmas season.

Most of the freshman said they plan to buy presents for only their close friends and family where in the past they might have purchased presents for all friends and family.

Freshman Naomi Ferguson said,

“I’m buying cheaper, simpler gifts with more meaning behind them instead of more expensive gifts.”