Your best friend’s birthday is coming up, but you just spent the last of the money in your bank account on textbooks for your English class. Christmas approaches (along with finals), but you haven’t even started your shopping, and you don’t know how you’ll pay for gifts for your family and friends. Scenarios like these are all too common for the busy college student with limited funds, but presents don’t have to be an ordeal. Here are some helpful hints.

  • Be choosy. You might be a social butterfly, but you don’t have to swipe your debit card for everyone you know and their roommates. Save your creativity, money, and generosity for the people closest to you: a girlfriend or boyfriend, best friends, parents, siblings, etc. You might enjoy giving gifts, but you’re a college student, not Santa Claus. Being selective will also allow you to save money and put more time and thought into the gifts of the people closest to you.
  • Be creative. Making a gift might sound cheap or childish, but is actually a thoughtful way to save money. Handmade or computer-made cards are often a better bet than the schmaltzy, overpriced cards available at your local Hallmark store, and letting your artsy side run wild is a great way to add a personal touch to your gift. Scrapbooks, photo albums, or montages are great creative gift ideas for friends.
  • Use humor. I’m not talking about the birthday cards with trite cracks about wrinkles and old age. If you share an inside joke with a friend, referencing it in her birthday card is a great way to put a smile on her face. A good joke can make even a modest card or gift memorable and fun.
  • If shopping, split the cost. If you’d like to buy something for your best friend, see if any of your other friends are interested in splitting the cost with you. This will reduce your financial strain, and, with your friend’s input, you can brainstorm better gift ideas.
  • Remember, it really is the thought that counts. Never feel obliged to spend a lot of money on someone. A creative gift idea that shows you know and appreciate someone is always better than something expensive and impersonal, and if the recipient thinks otherwise, they aren’t worth your generosity.

Article source: Student Universe