You’re finally heading home for the holidays, which is awesome! It can also be challenging to figure out how to afford gifts for all your family and friends back home. Unfortunately, the holidays come at a time when many college students’ accounts are near empty because of the expenses of the semester.

And even though everyone knows that college students don’t have a lot of money, your parents, siblings, and even friends may not see that as an excuse for not at least getting something for them for the holidays. So here are a few ways to please the fam without breaking the bank this Christmas;

  1. Give an experience: Perhaps, back in high school, you and your dad loved an activity together e.g watching stage plays. For the holidays, then, you can offer to take him to go see one just you and your dad as your gift. It won’t cost you anything and your father will undoubtedly appreciate the time together. Or perhaps your mom has never been to a cinema but you strongly suspect she’d absolutely love it. Offer to take her and give the gift of a great experience instead of, say, another bottle of perfume or scarf.


  1. Make things yourself: All right, so getting your mom a cashmere scarf and your sister that MAC lipstick sounded like a great idea until you saw how much they were in the department store. But if you know how to knit, you can make a personalized, cute scarf for your mom—maybe even with a matching hat!—for a fraction of the price. Similarly, if you’re skilled in other ways—making crafts, baking, taking pictures, for some examples—see what you can create on your own that still makes a huge impact without a huge price tag.


  1. Get creative: You undoubtedly have some kind of talent that you can use for holiday gifts. You may write poetry; you may sketch; you may be talented when it comes to pottery; you may be an amazing songwriter. No matter what you do creatively, your friends and family will undoubtedly love some kind of gift that showcases your creative talent. And the best part? Creative gifts cost little, if any, money, but are often some of the most cherished presents you can give.

So that’s it! Don’t forget that at the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts.:)