Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Your Graduate

Receiving a graduation invitation in the mail should be an exciting time, not a time to stress about gifts and money. Just because you receive an invitation does not mean you are receiving an invite to spend a lot of money! Here are some great gift ideas for the frugal buyer that any recent grad would enjoy – and will also not burn a hole in your pocketbook!

  • Make something! Often times gifts that are made, not bought can be more sentimental and touching than anything money can buy. Consider making a photo album or scrapbook of the recent grads memories over the past few years of high school or college!
  • Create a gift basket. Sometimes buying multiple inexpensive items actually looks like more than one large gift. Make a gift basket for the grad including essentials for their plans post graduation (if a high school grad has college in the new future, stock them up with inexpensive dorm accessories, notebooks, pencils and study treats!)
  • Pass something along. Maybe you have a keepsake, a book, or something that helped you continue on to the next phase of your life that you think would also be helpful or encouraging to your recent grad.

If you choose the gift route, know that anything from the heart will be special!

However, if you don’t have the time to go get something or make a gift basket, writing a check is not completely out. It is not necessary to give hundreds of dollars if you don’t have it to give. Fifty, 30 or even 25 dollars is plenty. The money the grad receives will add up, and believe me – every dollar counts! Be assured that your money will be appreciated no matter how much the amount.

Have a great gift that you gave or received for graduation? Or have tips on how to make the perfect gift? Tell us below!

8 thoughts on “Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Your Graduate

  1. I will be graduating in one month, and for me, personally, I think any amount of money is the most versatile gift. There are moving expenses and other bills that need to be paid when transitioning out of college that a little bit of cash can help out with. For people that want to put more into a gift than just money, something thoughtful such as helping them pack, unpack or move is nice, as well as gifts specific to what they could need for their new job such as a tie. The most important thing is to make sure it is a gift that will be useful, as well as appreciable.

  2. I honestly think money gift will be more beneficial and the grad can use it for whatever they want to us it for. I would rather receive money than gift.

  3. Any gift given would be greatly appreciated by whoever receives them. I always think money would be the best option. Yes, homemade gifts are more meaningful, but money is what you give when you really dont know what to give a graduate. It really doesn’t matter how much because it will all add up.

  4. When you are graduating most of the time you will be moving in to a new place or location, there for you do not always need to cost a lot. Gifts that come from the heart always means more anyway. It does not take much money to make a home-made gift that will last a lift time. I know being a college student I am not able to afford much. So there for when I buy gifts they are personal and usually cheep. The best gift I have ever got, was a scrapbook for the baseball season.

  5. Typically, a graduate is getting ready to move to a new location and needs simple items like appliances, dishes, etc.

    For instance, when my sister graduated college this year and the most important things to her are the most simple things. I never see her use the voice-recording picture frame or the special laptop holder, rather the used pots and pans or the extra chairs my parents gave her are most used and cherished. Just think, what do they really need?

  6. I will say that while in ‘most’ cases a gift that’s heartfelt and took time and effort to accumulate makes a greater impression than any hand-me-down or lump sum, the particular situation of graduation has become something of a social norm to just expect money. Whether that makes it right or wrong, I can honestly say most of the recent grads. wouldn’t be hurt, of course, if any one person (or everyone they invited, for that matter) didn’t give some money, but the expectancy is something, no matter how little, to help with their next big step in life. So, if you’re just not sure what your distant cousin, or that niece/nephew you don’t see that often are personally interested in, don’t be afraid to ‘write the check’. Just something to help add on to the pile and to show you cared enough to respond will make their day.

  7. For my friend who just graduated, I made a scrapbook with different pictures from over our college years. She really enjoyed this gift. But what really meant the most to her was me just being there for her graduation. Sometimes for graduates just showing up and being there supporting them for their most important moment of walking across the stage means more than anything else.

  8. I know when I receive gifts that are homemade, they always mean more to me, and I tend to remember better who gave them to me. In addition, it shows that they really put thought into the gift and know you well. They did not just shell out $20, $30, $40, etc. on a non-personalized gift. Even photo frames with your favorite picture of you and the graduate is a good idea.

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