Gift Giving Ideas For The Broke College Student
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Gift Giving Ideas For The Broke College Student

No money, no problem.

Gift Giving Ideas For The Broke College Student

Being in college has its struggles: eating decent food, staying emotionally stable throughout papers and assignments, and buying gifts for the holidays. While everyone seems to have trouble with gift giving, college students stand out since they’re somehow always broke (even if we have money, we’re broke.) I’ve struggled in the past to afford presents for family and a few friends, especially since I always want to give them the best of the best, but sometimes less is more – especially with what you’re spending. Here’s a few ideas for gift giving that should hopefully save your bank account:

1. Picture Collage

Perfect for friends! If you have a color printer and paper, then you’re all set. Set up a collage online with or a photo collage app and print it out; simple as that! You can either leave it as is, or decorate it with stickers, markers, and glitter – or if you want to go all out, buy a cheap poster board and get into scrapbook mode by cutting pictures out and decorating the board with pics, inside jokes, and compliments galore. They’re bound to tear up a little bit.

2. Coupon Book

No, I’m not talking about Target coupons. This is something I always used to do when I was younger (I still do it now.) Basically, you write out chores, events, or hobbies you want to do with or for the person you gift this to. Anything from washing the dishes to buying them a coffee to getting a mani/pedi together – you decide! If you don’t have the money now, this is a great substitute for your empty wallet. They can use it whenever and you’ll be able to make great memories together.

3. Ornaments

It’s easy to find ideas for handmade ornaments anywhere – Pinterest is a savior for me! Whether you try origami, paper snowflakes, or sparkly stars, the time and dedication put into it are what make it special. Dollar Tree is bound to have plenty of basic crafting supplies for anyone who wants to get extra creative. My mom used to make these really cool ornaments with different fabric patterns and Styrofoam, pinning pieces together to result in a beautiful gift for our family and friends. Try it out if you want to give something you can wrap up.

4. Food

Anyone will love you if you make them something yummy. Last year, I made my college friends cake pops and it’s safe to say that college kids will practically cry over any food that’s not from the dining hall. With plans to do the same thing this year, I feel confident about at least one gift I’ll be giving. Treats such as cookies, brownies, and hot chocolate mix also tend to go down well. As well as cake pops and cookies, candy is simple and easy – although maybe less thoughtful. It’s fine nonetheless; try finding a cool way to present it, though. Maybe shaped as a sleigh perhaps?

5. Art

If you happen to hone the power of the pencil, use it to your advantage! Paintings, drawings, etc. always go down well with people, especially if it’s something personal. Crafting counts, too! Whether you make phone cases, wallets, or hats, your artistic skills are your best friend for the holidays. Take some time to prepare and perfect these gifts and know that no matter how old you are, your mom will always hang up your art on the fridge.

6. A Song

As cheesy as it sounds, my fellow music lovers know how sweet and thoughtful this gift can be. And no, it’s not just for romantic couples; try writing your best friend or your dad a song. Make it as goofy or serious as you want. Instrumentals are optional, but if you can add some smooth chords on a guitar or piano, it’s bound to boost up your performance. Don’t think you have to be great at music, either! If you rhyme words as simple as “you” with “shoe,” you can still make someone’s day a little bit brighter.

7. Travel

Now this doesn’t need to be extravagant, like a trip to Hawaii or Tahiti; keep it local. Go on a hike, stroll around your local park, or visit a museum or art gallery. Find something cheap and easy and enjoy each other’s company. The most you’ll have to spend is for parking or snacks. Take lots of pictures and that way, you can use the first idea to make a collage from your trip and give a bonus gift!

8. Your Time

Listen, no one is forcing you to give your grandma or high school pal a gift. Honestly, they most likely just want to see you and spend time with you. Whether you bake, play video games, or just sit and chat, remember that the holidays are meant for spending time with your loved ones and spreading love. Pull out your favorite movie or board game and enjoy your time at home with your family since in college, we don’t get to do that as much. Happy Holidays and I hope your season is filled with love and happiness.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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