20 Practical and Thoughtful Graduation Gifts for Any Budget

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graduation gifts

Hello, everyone. It’s springtime, so you know that it’s almost graduation season. Students from all over the country will graduate from high school and college. They’ve spent years in the classroom, and they are preparing for that moment to walk across the stage. It’s an incredible feeling. My last graduation was in 2008. I can’t believe that it’s been ten years. I still remember that moment like yesterday. My friends and family visited Savannah to see me walk across that stage.

You can show the graduates in your life some love by purchasing them some graduation gifts. There are hundreds of things to choose from. Today, I want to share with you twenty thoughtful and practical graduation gifts. Most of the gifts can be for both high school & college graduates. Let’s start with the first gift idea.

20 Graduation Gifts

1. Apple Watch

Everyone could use a nice watch. I wore my last one until it literally broke. The current generation loves Apple products. Look at how many people wait in line for the new iPhone releases. This Apple watch right here is pretty stylish. Your graduate will definitely like it.

2. Sports Tickets

If the graduate enjoys sports, this next gift option will come in clutch. Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer are in full effect during May. An NBA team might be playing in the playoffs depending on where you live. They’d enjoy tickets to their favorite sporting event. When purchasing your tickets, you should check StubHub. StubHub is my favorite place to get tickets. In most cases, its pricing is lower than its competitors.

3. Gift Cards

You can’t go wrong with gift cards. If you need help with what to get your graduate, grab them a gift card to one of their favorite stores. If you need help determining what their favorite store is, grab them a gift card from Amazon. They have damn near everything.

4. Amazon Prime

While discussing Amazon, consider purchasing Amazon Prime for your graduate. Amazon Prime is a program that allows members to stream music, videos, and books. It also provides free shipping and other savings. Amazon Prime has a free 30-day trial. After that, you pay $199 per year or $14.99 monthly. If your graduate is going to college, you can also consider Amazon Prime Student. It has a free 6-month trial. After that, it’s $7.49 per month.

5. Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo is it if you want to get your graduate a state-of-the-art gift. It is one of the more unique gifts for graduates on this list. It is a smart speaker that you can talk to. The Amazon Echo can play music, create to-do lists, alarms, and more.

6. College Dorm Trunk

graduation giftsThis could be the perfect gift for a high school graduate. Most college dorms only have so much room. A trunk will help them with storage. Students can put their clothes, bedding, and laundry supplies in it. The picture above is an example of an excellent sturdy trunk. One of my roommates had a trunk similar to this during my first year in college. Not only was it a trunk, but it also served as a place to sit.

7. T-Shirts or Jerseys

T-Shirts it jerseys can be another good gift idea. There are tons of items to choose from. You can get their favorite team’s jersey if the graduate likes sports. You can get a shirt with their favorite superhero if they like Marvel or DC comics.

8. Trip

If I were graduating, I’d love a free trip. Heck, I’d enjoy a free trip right now. Any graduate would be happy to receive a free flight or hotel stay somewhere. Orlando is a wonderful city to visit. There is more than just Disney World down there.

9. Luggage

If you’re unwilling to splurge on a trip, you could get your graduate some new luggage. Suitcases get old, and they can break at the worst time. The handle broke on mine at the airport once. Some new luggage could be precisely what your graduate needs. This three piece-set from Samsonite is pretty lovely.

10. Coffee Maker

If your graduate is a coffee maker, this is their gift. By making their coffee, they won’t have to give their money to Starbucks anymore. A good one to purchase is the Cuisinart DCC-3200. It is a best seller.

11. Drone

The next thing on the graduation gifts list is a drone. If your graduate likes video or photography, a drone could help them with their hobby. This drone has live streaming and HD video.

12. Tablet

Any graduate would enjoy a tablet. Some people like them because they are smaller than most laptops. This Fire Tablet comes with 8 or 16 GB. It’s only $60.

13. Stock

Getting your graduate some stock in their favorite company is an excellent idea. The stock market should be used to build long-term wealth. There are several brokers to choose from. Stockpile is a very affordable option. You only pay $0.99 per trade. You can also purchase shares of any amount. They are offering new users $5 that they can use towards their first purchase.

14. Books

Knowledge is power. Just because someone is graduating doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t stop learning. I will always enjoy picking up a physical book to read. Some good books that I’d suggest that people check out are:

The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas J. Stanley

Hustle Away Debt – David Carlson

You Only Live Once – Jason Vitug

15. Cash

Next on the graduation gifts list is cash. You can’t go wrong with giving them money. It’s a straightforward gift. You won’t have to spend time searching online or at the mall for it. I doubt any graduate would be mad if you gave them some money.

16. Gravity Blanket

After several years in school, finally, fresh graduates have enough time to relax. Because of that, a gift that will help them relax comfortably would be a big hit. Weighted blankets can help them relax; the gravity blanket is the most recommended of this blanket series. I recently saw a test comparing the gravity blanket to its weighted blanket competitors, which outdid them by a mile.


17. AirPods

AirPods, Apple’s cult favorite, are, in my opinion, the best wireless earbuds out there. This is another good item on the unique gifts for graduates. Everyone wants to have one. So, if you are shopping for a lover of Apple’s product, they will surely cherish and adore it. AirPods are gifts that come in handy for every busy and mundane adulthood moment, such as workouts, dishwashing, commuting, and traveling.

18. Kindle Unlimited Subscription

Similar to the “books” option, here is another alternative. Just because reading is not mandatory after graduating doesn’t imply that someone must stop reading. Many argue that adults should read more than they did in school. Reading enhances mental stimulation and is an instrumental approach to spending free time anytime you intend to take a break from watching TV or social media. The only issue almost everyone has with books is that they sometimes tend to be expensive unless, of course, with unlimited access to e-books. That is what kindle unlimited offers. It is a perfect gift for bookworms and doesn’t require an e-reader to access – they can access it right on their smartphones.

Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans

19. Wallet

Adults use many cards ranging from loyalty and gift cards to credit cards, healthcare cards, and so on. The cards keep coming as one age, so naturally, they will need a place to keep all of them. Not to mention the cash they will start earning in the real world – that also needs a home. To keep all of these small souvenirs, get them a nice wallet. It is a simple gift, but it will be handy for them in the long run, irrespective of technological advancement (unless robots replace cards and money, but I believe we are still far from that).


20. Handbag

If you are shopping for a graduate who loves carrying around bags, consider getting them a handbag. Although only some people love handbags, anyone will appreciate labeled and fashionable ones. Handbags come in handy for bringing belongings here and there. Although there are limited places to visit now due to restrictions, this situation is temporary. But a lovely handbag? Permanent. Even they get tired of it. They can sell it on online platforms like eBay – at least someone will still be using what you spent your cash on for several years.



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Image Credits: DepositPhotos


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Jason Butler is the owner of My Money Chronicles, a website where he discusses personal finance, side hustles, travel, and more. Jason is from Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Savannah State University with his BA in Marketing. Jason has been featured in Forbes, Discover, and Investopedia.