Graduation gifts can be hard. Do you give money and how much? Do you buy a gift, what do I buy?
I know it’s hard to get the right gift for anyone, let alone a teenager that is stepping into the grown up world or for the college student entering the real world of working. It’s a huge milestone in their lives and how can we celebrate that with them with a gift. Decisions, Decisions.
For me, I have 2 general rules. First, I don’t spend more than I can afford. My gift is to help the student, not complete the list of ALL the must haves. A little can go a long way. Second: If the gift is for a close relative and I have a big connection with the student I give up to $100 (when I can). The gift can be cash, gift cards or physical gifts. The least I give is $30 or a gift that matches the $30.
Money is a given for a graduation gift. If they are going away for college or entering the workforce, money is a great option. Who couldn’t use cash?
Let’s think outside the box a little bit.
- For the car: You can buy a kit that includes jumper cables, tire gage and tools. Gift card for an oil change, GPS device, tire patch kit,
- Dorm living: sewing kit (travel size), desk lamp, wash cloths, towels, scissors, Plastic (reusable/picnic) plates, bowls and cups. Rolls of paper towels, air freshener, Clorox wipes. You can put all of these in a Rubbermaid tote or laundry basket. The tote or basket is part of the gift.
- For electronics: Surge protectors, HDMI cord, docking station, I-tunes gift cards, ear buds, security box for laptop, Bluetooth speaker, portable DVD player, flash drives cord keepers, noise canceling head phones.
- Emergency kit: Make a list of family contact phone numbers, Band-Aids, alcohol wipes, Neosporin, Tums, Aspirin, thermometer
- Office supplies: Printer paper, ink cartridges, pens, spiral note books, stapler/staples, paper clips, Dry erase board with markers, Post-it notes, Highlighters, Sharpies, 3 ring binder, 2-pocket folders and 3 prong folder, staple remover, hole punch
Now let’s look into some one gift ideas:
- A tablet: Such as the Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy or whatever brand you like. These can be priced a little over $100. These are great investment for the student. I bought one for my son and it paid for itself in one quarter of school. They can load textbooks, study guides and other helpful apps.
- Security devices: Such as a water bottle that holds a credit card, a key and cash. These price out about $20. How about an apartment/dorm security kit that offers a door stop alarm, window alarm and a personal alarm. Price for security kit can be $20 to $200. You can also buy a device to help locate keys, purses, bags. There are many items out there like this and range from $25 to $200.
- Camera: Digital cameras can be under $100. You could also go with a camera lens that attaches to their cell phone to take better pictures. These are a little bit pricier. Another idea would be a video camera such as the Go-Pro ($$$) but a hand-held is just as good and less expensive.
- Kitchen items: Most colleges allow for a microwave and a mini refrigerator. Generally the microwave will be under $100, but the fridge can be expensive. Another option is something called a 3 in 1 breakfast station. This is a one cup coffee maker, a mini toaster oven and a skillet top. These can range from $40 to $100.
- AAA car service for a year. I renewed this every year for my son and it paid for itself in the first year. He locked his keys in the car, a battery died, and he had a flat tire. All taken care of by AAA service.
As you can see some of the gift ideas can be used for the high school grad going to college (or not) and for the college grad for their apartment or going into the workforce.
I hope the ideas have helped you in your search for gifts.
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