You're proud, relieved, and want to show the graduate in your life that you care. Buying a gift for a teenager or young adult can be tough. Whether it's a high school or college graduation, don't let your uncertainty about gifts scare you away from making a kind gesture.
The number one requested item for graduation gifts is simple - cold hard cash. In the U.S. alone, we hand over about $5 billion in graduation gifts and over half is in cash. If you feel that a check or a handful of twenties is too impersonal, there are plenty of other ways to show you care. Here are several suggestions of meaningful gifts for the graduate in your life.
If your son or daughter has stacks of t-shirts that represent milestones, vacations, or sports teams, this is a fantastic way to make them into something lasting. While you can certainly turn them into a quilt yourself if you have the skills, this isn't necessary. You can also send them to a company called Project Repat that will create your customized t-shirt quilt and one-of-a-kind graduation gift.
If your graduate is planning on continuing their education or entering the workforce (hopefully, one of these) they are probably going to need some help. One way that you can assist is by providing them with a new laptop. You may be able to find student discounts at stores like Best Buy or through direct retailers such as Apple or Dell.
Whether graduating from high school or college, chances are that there will be more travel in your graduate's future, possibly without parental supervision. Help them travel in style with some affordable luggage or even just one nice personalized piece for weekend getaways.
Graduate Survival Guide
Unfortunately, too many young people graduate from both high school and college without basic money management skills. If you want to give your graduate some tools without lecturing, you might want to slip them a copy of No One Ever Told Us That: Money and Life Lessons for Young Adults by John Spooner. The book provides a collection of essential money and life lessons.
Photo and Memory Book
If you want to give your son or daughter a gift that will have lasting meaning, one idea is to put together a good old fashioned photo album for them. Assemble photos and souvenirs from the past that will give them reminders of their family, friends, and youth. Also, include personal messages on the photo pages.
Financial Planning Products
You may have decided not to give cash as a graduation gift, but that doesn't mean that you can't help your graduate get started planning for the future. In fact, some financial planners suggest that parents open a Roth IRA for recent graduates. Another option is to help your graduate select their first term life insurance policy and pay for the first year's premium.
There are many ways to celebrate your loved one's graduation. Whether you choose to give cash, a personalized gift, or some method of helping them gain financial independence, the important thing is that you all enjoy the moment with its promise of a bright future.
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