When the holidays come around, it is easy to pack your wish list full of expensive gadgets and the newest trends. But this season, try looking at the gifts that will be the most beneficial in the long term. If you are still unwilling to give up your high-priced desires, consider adding some of these on as stocking stuffers or small gifts to give you a well-rounded holiday haul.
Useful utensils and kitchenware
Solve the too-many-lids-not-enough-containers dilemma by asking for a nice food storage set. If leftovers are not really your thing, shoot for some high quality pots and pans or a knife set that you can continue to use after you graduate, freeing up limited resources when you are on your own to finally buy a nicer mattress.
The basics: gas and groceries
While in theory this gift sounds extremely mundane, imagine the pleasure of walking through Target and realizing that you can afford to buy name brand cereal. And fueling up without worrying about your credit line.
Overlooking that adorable pair of heeled Toms or the tenth pair of Vans, ask for the real-life-grind-of-ND shoes. A new pair of snow boots tacks on a pretty massive price tag, so getting them for Christmas saves both your cash and your toes.
Avoid having to use a scissors or knife as a screwdriver or hoping that randoms in the parking lot have a set of jumper cables and spring for a compact tool kit or car survival pack. There is a reason they’re called handy, and you’ll be a hero if you come through for someone else in need of one of these items.
Hulu or Netflix subscription
Of all the gifts out there, this is truly the one that keeps on giving.
Coffee, coffee, coffee
The reality of college is that at one point or another, coffee becomes the only way to make it through a day. Coffee shops know this and charge more accordingly. Instead of doling out precious cash for some steamed milk with one shot of espresso, ask for a Keurig coffeemaker, a refillable K-Cup filter and a GIANT bag of coffee grounds. Voila, major life win.
College does not last forever, and equipping yourself for the real world can be just as spendy as the real world itself. A professional resume holder, matching suit or pantsuit, and some professional socks would be a great gift to start you on the job path.
College goes by quickly — ask any senior. A great way to keep tabs on how you change throughout the years is to receive a “One Line a Day” journal. It is as easy as it sounds, requiring the owner to writer one line per day for five years. Each year, you can look back and see what you were doing at exactly that time the previous year. Plus, it is way simpler than keeping a blog or detailed journal.
Finally, look ahead at future plans. Don’t think you’ll be able to afford plane tickets for spring break? Ask for them. Have a backpacking trip planned as soon as finals are over? Get the small stuff (like a plug adaptor, backpack, carry-on travel containers, etc.) as a gift and focus your cash on the experiences you will have during your travels.