Graduation season is quickly approaching, which means it’s time to bring on the celebrations. While it may seem like an overwhelming time, it can also be a very exciting time for the graduates in your life. Whether you are celebrating an elementary school graduation, middle school graduation, high school graduation or college graduation, there are many gifts you can get for the special graduate without having to break the bank. Here are some useful tips that can help you enjoy a successful graduation season while being friendly to your wallet:
Know Your Budget
Parents: it’s so important to have a budget in mind before the graduation season starts so you don’t splurge on unnecessary purchases. Make a list of everything you need to buy beforehand, such as clothing for your graduate, gifts, party items, travel costs like plane tickets and hotel accommodations, etc. This will definitely help you be as prepared as possible.
Embrace Your Inner DIY
Purchasing graduation gifts early will not only help you stress less but will also help you save money and avoid expedited shipping costs rather than buying last minute gifts. Typical gifts for recent grads include money and clothing, but try to opt for graduation gifts that are friendlier to your wallet and also meaningful. Here are some thoughtful DIY graduation gift ideas to make a lasting impression:
1. Make a collage or photo album of your child’s time in school with pictures of their friends, family and any notable experiences. This is something they can cherish as a keepsake for years to come.
2. Create a customized gift basket with the grad’s favorite things. This can include their favorite snacks, photos, and other little knick-knacks.
3. If your grad is heading off to college, give them a “dorm essentials” basket with items that’ll come in handy during their first year. They will definitely appreciate it!
4. Order a customized throw or blanket with their graduation picture or school logo.
5. Write your grad a heartfelt letter and frame it so they can always remember their special day.
If you are traveling to a graduation out-of-state, do some research on cheap travel sites to help you save money on flights. Companies such as Priceline will allow you to provide your price range and will give you options within your budget. Book your flights as early as possible to avoid last-minute booking fees.
Save on Clothing
You’d be surprised at how many ways there are to save money on graduation attire. Rather than spending a bunch of money on something your grad will only wear once, look into websites that allow you to rent clothing for one special occasion. You can rent clothing from a company like Rent The Runway.
Borrow What You Can
You can always rely on fellow friends and family members to borrow graduation must-haves. Whether you need extra party accessories, graduation clothing, or just some support, count on them to have your back.
Throw a Party Without Putting a Dent in Your Wallet
There are many ways you can throw your grad a party without breaking the bank. Oftentimes, parents will throw a joint party for their grads to help save some money. Look into rental services for items such as tables, tablecloths, silverware, etc. that offer reasonable prices for the day. Need graduation decorations to liven up the party? Check out stores, like Party City, that offer unbeatable deals for graduation decorations.
There are so many ways you can save money for this upcoming graduation season. Once you have the essentials, you’ll be set to enjoy one of the most important times of your child’s life. Congrats to your grad!
Brian is a dad, husband, and an IT professional by trade. A Personal Finance Blogger since 2013 who, with his family, has successfully paid off over $100K worth of consumer debt. Now that Brian is debt-free, his mission is to help his three children prepare for their financial lives and educate others to achieved financial success. He blogs at Debt Discipline.