2012 holiday gift guide for the college student budget

Holiday shopping

(Flickr photo by code poet)

Right now you are probably more worried about exams than the looming holiday season, but it is coming up…and fast! Fortunately, you don’t have to worry or stress. Here is your 2012 holiday gift guide so you can check each person off your list. The best part? Each and every item won’t deplete your college student budget — you may even have some left over to purchase one of these must have items for yourself

$20 or less

Maybe you have very little dough lying around this season and can’t splurge on the special people in your life. Don’t fret. You can still get some amazing, memorable gifts. An article for CBS Money Watch, “21 great holiday gifts for college students” posted on Nov. 20, 2012, by Lynn O’Shaughnessy, is geared toward people who need to buy gifts for college students — and some options can get quite pricey. However, the article also offers a few ideas that can help you stay on budget this holiday season.

A few of the highlights include:

  • Urban Outfitters’ One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book ($16.95) for the writer in your life
  • 3bscientific.com’s I’m Not a Paper Cup – Chalkboard Edition ($12.00) is a great way to leave your roommate little reminders
  • Kinivo’s Mini Portable Speaker with Rechargeable Battery ($18.95) is compatible with iPods, iPhones, and MP3 players

Keep it below $50

Believe it or not, you can snag some great presents for under $50, no creativity needed. Just visit Oprah‘s Gift Finder, a page where you can search for gifts based on price, recipient, and occasion. Looking for something for your fashionista roommate? Your search might return the following, all of which are price conscious:

  • Dr. Sharon’s Aromatherapeutic Sleep/Relaxation Kit ($35.00) will help her relax and unwind after a strenuous study session
  • My Tote’s Chamberlain Swim Tote ($27.99-$33.99) will get her ready for swimsuit season
  • Fornash’s Boa Scarf ($38.00) will keep her fashionable in the coldest of weather
  • 180s Tec Touch Gloves (starting at $30.00) will allow her to use technology without ruining her manicure

Need a gift for your special someone who loves wine? Visit Vinturi‘s to find the perfect aerator for your love’s taste and style. If shopping for a fellow traveler, you could opt for Lug‘s Nap Sac Travel Blanket+Pillow Set for a mere $28. Perhaps you want to get something for your new niece, check out Elegant Baby‘s Piggy Banks — these start at $21, leaving you enough left over to actually put some hard earned cash into your own piggy bank.

Just under $100

For those extra special people in your life, you may feel the need to spend just a little bit more. In this case, consider these great gifts featured in the Phoenix New Times blog by Lauren Saria on Nov. 30, 2012, titled “Chow Bella’s Gift Guide for the Starving College Student” (again, this article is geared toward what to buy college students, but they are also great money-saving gift ideas for college students, too). These items won’t cost you more than $100 but will still be holiday hits:

  • Single Serve Coffee Makers from either Keurig (starting at $99) or Nescafe (starting at $59) for the coffee lovers in your life
  • A club/warehouse membership to Costco (starting at $55) or Sam’s Club (starting at $35) is a gift that keeps on giving all year long
  • Gift cards (whatever amount you are comfortable spending) to the local hangouts, eateries, and grocery stores can be a hit with other college students — you can even mix and match them by putting them on a bulletin board or magnetic strip, like this one by Umbra.

The perfect gift

From unique gifts from Etsy to Tervis cups with school spirit, the perfect holiday present doesn’t need to cost a fortune (or take weeks to make). It just requires a few minutes of figuring out which of these great gifts to give to each person on your list. Happy Holidays!

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