Solutions exist for students on a tight budget

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 12:55 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 11, 2008

The end of the fall semester means the end of class, finals and a lot of stress.

For some, the stress comes from what to give friends and family for the holidays. Although a lucky few students have worked hard at jobs and thus have extra cash to spend, most college students must be more creative when it comes to buying gifts for the ones they love.

“Many students use their buyback money to purchase holiday gifts,” said Michelle Froese, public relations manager for Student and Auxiliary Services at MU. “There are lots of holiday purchases at this time.”

Froese says most of the gifts bought in the University Book store relate to MU.

“As it gets closer to the end of the semester, more kids are buying clothes for their parents,” Fraise said. “They tend to buy Mizzou Mom and Dad shirts or trade books.”

Sarah Nelson, a junior at MU, said she tries not to buy from the University Book store for her parents.

“I feel guilty if I student charge gifts,” Nelson said. “I usually go downtown to the specialty shops.”

Nelson said she usually buys her gifts the week before finals because that is when she has money from textbook buyback.

Jordan Fears, a senior at MU, has a different view on gift giving.

“My family isn’t really big on giving big gifts,” Fears said. “I use my buyback money in order to buy books for the next semester.”

Although he doesn’t usually get anything for his friends, Fear said he uses money from his summer job to make family buys such as books for his father and a special ornament for his mother.

Nelson has a unique gift idea that she uses for friends.

“I buy kids’ books for my friends,” Nelson said. “Usually they are about friendship or something similar.”

Some nearly free gift ideas for students on a small budget include:

  • Decoupage: A jar of Modge Podge, a paintbrush and old magazines can turn any glass or wood object into a personalized masterpiece.
  • Personalized gift certificates: Using the receiver’s favorite things or wishes, create IOUs for him or her on the computer.
  • Baked goods: Anyone can read the directions to a recipe, so find one you like.

This year, MU students might want to take a look at the new junior apparel options offered to them in the University Book store. Froese said these clothes geared toward young women are a more colorful and vibrant way to express spirit for the school.

“Junior apparel has taken off in leaps and bounds,” Fraise said. “Years ago, you would have only seen our unisex apparel being sold, but now we have regular customers who stop by to see what new items we have each week.”

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