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Budget-Friendly Gift Ideas for High School Grads

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Looking for graduation gift ideas? Here are some examples of budget-friendly graduation gifts to get those creative juices flowing and help you save money this summer.

High school grads who are moving on to college in the fall are going to need a ton of new supplies. While receiving a laundry hamper and backpack might not be the most thrilling of gifts, you should use a good dose of practicality when selecting a gift. It's pretty easy to find a nice balance of usefulness and fun.

- Cash isn't always the best gift. I remember living entirely off gummy bears and Red Bull for a whole week during finals (which I most definitely do not recommend). Truth: college students don't always spend money wisely when they're off on their own for the first time.

- Dorm supplies are a good bet. I'm not saying you should buy a year's supply of laundry detergent and stick a bow on it. Think of something you know the student will use, but might not think to buy for themselves, like a coffee maker. It'll be useful and save money on coffee runs!

- A new laptop is always appreciated. Obviously, this isn't exactly the most frugal gift; however, chipping in for a new laptop with other friends or family members can easily make this a more budget-friendly option.

- How about an Amazon Kindle? My life would have been much easier if I had a Kindle in college (or any other e-book reader). As an English major, at the end of every semester, I was faced with the problem of lugging home all the new books I had bought. While I did sell a good portion of the books I no longer needed, there were so many I wanted to keep! I'm sure other English majors out there share my woe.

- Gift cards are a simple, no-fuss alternative. While these won't save the gift-buyer any money, you'll definitely help the grad save money on purchases! Pick a store that you know the grad will appreciate, whether it's an online retailer like Amazon, where they can order books, or a local restaurant on campus. The options are endless!

In the end, the best gift you can give a high school grad is your wisdom from experience. Whether it's a personal finance book that helped you learn how to budget or the best tip you wish you knew as a college student, pass it along! That will be worth more than any gift card or coffee maker.

This post was written by Euna Kim from the SaveUp team.