Hannah Stewart, Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor
Congratulations to you for successfully making it to one year older! Pretty awesome day to be you! I mean the cake, the food, the family, the friends, and of course the presents. I know you have been just dying for a brand spanking new item (input your dream item here), but there could be some other really useful and awesome gifts out there.
Most people don’t like to give money, as it feels too impersonal. It never fails that we have this one relative, who despite their best efforts, does not know what to get you, and you have the ugly sweater collection to prove it. This year, you could ask for something you need. If you ask for something you need, such as paper towels, or school supplies, you can save your money. Then there is the matter of NEEDS vs. WANTS. I know you really really WANT that cool item, but you also NEED textbooks for classes. Asking for items you need may be a really good way to help save some of your already stretched budget. Receiving items you need may not feel much like a proper birthday presents, but saving in any fashion is a present that can last a lifetime.
Of course as college students we have friends and they must have birthdays too! What do I do? Well most understand that, as students, we are broke, so letting your inner artist out and creating something for them can be a really great way to let them know they are special to you. You can also make them food, because let’s face it, we all love food and have to eat if we want to make it to next year’s birthday. And for that one friend who just needs a material something, Goodwill, Wal-Mart and the Salvation Army are always there to save the day. Especially for those close to you, taking them out to dinner may be more enjoyable than buying them one expensive item. Check out Pinterest or other online blogs for DIY gift ideas.
Sometimes a homemade card just isn’t enough for that special someone. You can always take your significant other out on a date, but even then sometimes, it’s just not what fits. So, I recommend saving in advance … well in advance. Put an alert on that fancy phone of yours or an old-fashioned calendar, letting you know to start saving, and set goals, whether it is weekly, or monthly. That way when the big day is here, you have a little more saved to devote to your someone special.
Whether it’s your birthday or theirs, birthdays can be a great way to get some much NEEDED items and to forget about your WANTS, but also spread the love. It’s all about making the big day special, and remember no matter what … it’s the thought that counts.