The Responsible Student’s Holiday Gift List
Many students are still tempted by the most recent video games or the latest fashions, but it may be time to consider holiday gifts with more lasting benefit. Here are some holiday gift suggestions for responsible students to help avoid additional college debt.
Share these 10 gift ideas with friends and relatives who would like to help.
1. College Savings Contribution
Cash deposited into a 529 or college savings plan is a direct contribution to college costs. Help interested contributors by providing the information they need to make a deposit: the name of the plan and account holder, account number if needed, the website, contribution forms and instructions on how to take advantage of any tax benefits for the contributor.
2. Books and Materials
Check out required texts or materials for next semester’s classes for gift ideas. A gift card to the university bookstore or to an online supplier can also help avoid some of the cost to purchase or rent books and other supplies.
3. Gift Cards to Area Businesses
Once tuition, fees and housing expenses are paid, daily living expenses can become a drain on a college budget. Gift cards to area restaurants, grocery stores, retail chains and other businesses can help offset some of the costs for the little things that add up.
4. Online Subscriptions
Consider a prepaid subscription to an online newspaper or journal needed for classes or to keep up with changes in a specific field. Online movie and entertainment services also offer subscription options.
5. Backpacks and Other Gear
College students can get by on little, but something is needed to tote around books, laptop and pencils. Also think about charger or battery packs, cords, headphones and other gear that can get pricey if they need to be purchased in a hurry or all at once.
6. Food, Snacks and Storage Ware
A supply of healthy snacks with a long shelf life can reduce the amount spent at the dorm convenience shop or vending machine for students in residence halls. Off-campus students also appreciate a pantry well-stocked with favorite fixings and needed storage containers.
7. Small Appliances
Daily stops for coffee, tea, breakfast sandwiches and similar items can become an expensive habit. Shiny new appliances designed for single servings and college students will save money and the provide perfect amount of favorite ingredients.
8. Interview and Professional Wear
Timeless essentials suitable for variable weather are nice to have on hand for an interview, conference or other event requiring business wear. Remember a professional-looking bag, portfolio and other items.
9. Cleaning and Laundry Supplies
A ready supply of money for coin-operated laundry machines, detergent, a small vacuum and other cleaning supplies will save cash over time. Think about reusable supplies, like cloth mop pads and washable wipes, as well as the consumable liquids and powders needed to get through a year.
10. Money and Professional Advice
Whether this is provided from personal experience or in the form of books from industry experts, students often need to learn how to manage money and start on the right professional foot to avoid additional debt from uninformed decision-making, extra terms in college or long periods of unemployment.