7 Gifts You Can Afford On The 'Broke College Kid' Budget

7 Gifts You Can Afford On The 'Broke College Kid' Budget

For when you're broke but in the holiday spirit.

It's the Greatest time of Year! It's also one of the most expensive times of the year. A time of joy and family fellowship... but also a time for your wallet to scream and cry from the abuse you will be giving it. I hear you fellow college students.

You want to give your family and friends gifts because you know it's the season of giving, but your wallet isn't on the same page as you. I'm here to help you out. Here are some gifts that you can afford, that will still warm hearts.

1. DIY

DIY doesn't have to be the cheesy macaroni picture you used to make, it can be beautiful and cost-effective. And the best part is you don't have to be some kind of artist. The gifts you can make can range from simple, Sharpie Mugs to difficult, hand knit scarfs and hats. There are so many things you can make I'm going to make a sub-list of three things I personally know are cute to give out.

1. Sharpie Mugs - Go to the dollar store and buy 1 dollar mugs and then go to Wal-Mart and buy oil-based Sharpies for like 3 dollars. You can write Happy Holidays on a bunch of them or you can customize your messages. If you want to get fancy, you can draw a design. Put the mug in the oven to let it "bake" for about an hour. Let the mug dry overnight. Check it the next day to make sure it has officially dried. If not, throw it make in the oven and let it "bake" again. Make sure you buy a mug that can be put in the oven.

2. Mason Jar Recipes - You can get a few mason jars from a craft store and choose a recipe such as a soup, put all the dry ingredients inside of the mason jar and tie a bow around it. Then print out the recipe and attach it to the jar.

3. Scarfs and Sweaters - if you knit or crochet, the craft store has yarn, have at it!

2. Dollar Store

The Dollar Store is you friend everyone. Especially Dollar Tree, I mean everything is a literal dollar. And they actually have nice things there. They have something for everyone on your list and you definitely won't break the bank.

3. Baked Goods

Who doesn't love sweets? You can bake a bunch of cookie, brownies, or cupcakes and pass those out at Christmas. Head on over to the dollar store to buy the ingredients and some cute gift bags or boxes and Voila!

4. A Thoughtful Card

This may seem like nothing, but sometimes people cherish what you say more than some expensive gift. A card comes more from the heart than an electronic or a box of chocolates. Choose this option only if you're going to write something heartfelt. This is a great gift for older relatives that don't expect a gift from you. You can write them thanking them for all they do and showing your appreciation for having them in your life. You can buy one large box of cards for no more than 5 dollars

5. Clean your room or entire house

This is especially for your parents. It shows that you've heard them the other 364 days of the year when they've asked that you clean up for once. Or maybe your room is clean, and you tidy up around the house... if that's the case, you can rake the leaves or shovel the snow. You can fix something if you're handy. Or you can...

6. Bring Someone Breakfast in Bed

This can be your parent, boyfriend/girlfriend, siblings, roommate. Make them a breakfast of there favorite foods or the foods you know how to make. Or even spend a little on a McDonald's breakfast and put it on a plate. Breakfast in bed is a sweet way to pamper a person and let them feel special. If you can't cook, maybe don't choose this one though... or again McDonald's.

7. Coupon Book

This is so cheesy, but I'm assuming you are desperate and that's why you're reading this. Or you're my friend... Either way, coupons books are pretty elementary. But that doesn't mean they should be frowned upon. They can also be great gifts for people. Fill it with things like "Owed, One Home-Cooked Meal" "Owed, Movie night with Pizza; my treat, you pick a movie" "Owed, One Day of Chores" "Owed, No need for Uber, I'll Drive you there" "Owed, My Netflix Password."

Choose one of these or fill in your own according to what you know the person would like. You can make them pretty or they can be simple, but the gifts you are offering will last longer than just December 25th. It's literally the gift that keeps on giving.

So there you have it, folks. Just 7 of the many easy and cost-effective gifts you can give out this Christmas. It is important for me to say, that though gifts are nice, they are not the most important thing about this holiday. Whether you celebrate for religious reasons or not, Christmas should never be centered around what you can or can't afford or what you do or don't get. It should be about giving, not just of gifts but of time, love, and joy. Time, love, and joy also happen to be incredible gifts that don't cost anything and everyone will love. Happy Holidays everyone.

Food For Thought: If you want another way to give this season, try donating old toys or new toys to organizations for children who would otherwise not receive a gift. Or volunteer at a soup kitchen or nursing home. Don't be consumed by the capitalist spirit and forget the true meaning of the holiday.

Cover Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/christmas-gifts-holiday-present-3015973/

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.

Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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10 Reasons Why Having A Boyfriend Is Especially Awesome Around The Holidays

No better time of the year than Winter break to make all the memories with your honey freezing in the weather or sweating by the fireplace.


A date for looking at Christmas lights is on the top of the list, for sure.

1. You have someone to do all of the activities with

He's like your built-in partner for everything. Wanna watch a movie? Take a nap? Need someone to help you clean your room? You've got your person.

2. You can steal his hoodies when its chilly outside

It doesn't even have to be cold for you to want to. Chances are its a size or two bigger than you need and his cologne is all over it.

3. Chances are he's more willing to drive in the snow than you are 

Guys typically have a little more of a heavy duty vehicle. If you've got a good man, he might even rescue you an hour away in a blizzard if you think you're tougher than the weather.

4. Christmas movie partner!!

Do I need to add more?

5. He can always keep you warm

Bear hugs. Cuddles. His trucks dual air 90 degree heat on your side. He'll find a way to keep you warm.

6. Your family holiday events partner

Multiple Thanksgivings and Christmas' are a breeze with your favorite person by your side. Plus, no one to ask you where your plus one is or why you're single.

7. Matching Christmas pajamas

I don't know about you, but my family has matching Christmas jammies every year. You can even get your favorite person in on them too for a cute insta picture.

8. Your errand running partner

He's your built-in Christmas shopping partner so you aren't bored standing in line forever or while you're still shopping and he can act as your place holder.

9. You aren't the only single one in your family on Christmas Eve anymore. 

It's awkward when all of your siblings are taking pictures with their others, but when you've found your person, you can do all the same things, including looking forward to your new year's kiss.

10. Making more memories

No better time of the year than Winter break to make all the memories with your honey freezing in the weather or sweating by the fireplace.

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