Affordable Birthday Gift Ideas For College Students

It seems that I have to deal with a birthday party on a monthly basis and I’m not really a fan of trying to figure out what would be a nice gift. My first thought is, “you’re a friggin’ adult now, do you really need a gift?”. But I’m pretty bloody sure that wouldn’t go over too well. So below is my list of affordable gifts to get for your friends that are 20 years of age or older. This list can apply to your girlfriends, boyfriends, co-workers, family members, etc.

Cold hard Cash

For you lazy bastards, this is the probably the best and easiest choice for a birthday gift. This also happens to be my favorite choice. Many people will say that there was no thought put into it. I say, who gives a crap!! It’s better than giving a friend something they probably won’t end up liking. The way I see it, they can buy whatever they wish with that money. The hard part is figuring out how much to give as a birthday gift.

If it was up to me, that would be it as far as the list goes. But it’s not so let’s continue with some other birthday gift ideas for grown ups.

Dinner and a Movie

I’m not trying to make this look like an official date or anything but if you are good friends, then going out for dinners and movies will most likely be a normal thing. Try to get a large group of friends so all of you guys can be together. As adults, everybody has crazy schedules. So it would be a pretty nice if all the close friends were able to get together and hang out as a group like the “good ol’ days”. This will also end up being a very inexpensive night since everybody will pitch in.

Dinner and Bar/Club/Pub/Strip Club (Yes, in this exact order)

If the dinner and a movie is a bit too tame, then this is the next step up while still keeping it relatively affordable. Most of my friends are relatively poor broke so we can’t exactly do crazy birthday parties in Sin City, the way we all dream about. Going for dinner and drinks might cost more than the dinner/movie but if everybody pitches in, the costs should will still be minimal. Hanging out at a club/bar will almost always guarantee more entertainment for the whole group as well.

Movies & Video Games

You have one of those nerdy friends who will not the shut the hell up about a certain movie or video game but does not actually own a copy? Why don’t you do everybody a favor and purchase the bloody thing? It may end up costing a bit more but at least it will last longer than a dinner and a few drinks. Another bonus is that you can also borrow it.


If your group of friends are really close and don’t mind spending a bit of money on your buddy or girlfriend then buy them that fancy gadget that they’ve had their eyes on. The Amazon Kindle, the iPad, iTouch, and Nintendo Wii, to name a few. A few years back, a few friends pitched in to buy one of my best friends a chrome grill for his SUV. He’s still rocking the chrome grill all these years later and it still looks good as it did back then.

Surprise Parties

Throw him/her a surprise birthday party at their place! Okay, maybe not their place but an unexpected birthday party is always nice. These surprise birthday parties always seem to take place in TV shows and movies but I have witnessed a few successful ones in real life. The hard part is to figure out who is going to donate their place for the birthday bash.

Weekend Getaway or Camping Trip

Weekend getaways don’t always have to be expensive. My group of friends have done these types of getaways plenty of times. For example, our group of 8-10 people rented a condominium right on the lake in Osoyoos, BC which is about a five hour drive from Vancouver, BC. We brought our own food to cook to save money and to take advantage of the full kitchen in our unit. Three nights, food, and gas ended up costing each person $120. That’s not bad at all for a relaxing weekend away from the city, work, and school.

None of the ideas mentioned are extravagant but then again, close friends usually don’t really care for fancy things. True friends just want you to be there and enjoy the company you have to offer. If you have other affordable gift ideas, feel free to comment. I’ll do another post in the future where we will look at some crazy ass gift ideas.



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Hi Guys, I’d like to take the time to thank you for reading some info about me. My mission here as a writer at Unfinished man, is to entertain and inform on all things, from cars and gadgets, to reviews and life. I have a Bachelor in business but never really enjoyed school. I’d much prefer to spend time working on Unfinished Man than spending my days working long hours in some stuffy office. I love green tea and pistachios and my favourite fruit is pomegranate (weird I know). I hate the water but love nature, especially the nature here in my adopted country of Canada.

3 comments on “Affordable Birthday Gift Ideas For College Students”

  1. Your last paragraph pretty much covers it, especially when it comes to guys: just set aside time/plans to do something out of the ordinary. My cheap and fun favorites include going mountain biking (just gas money, if you all own bikes), backpacking/camping (gas, supplies, maybe park fees), and going shooting at a range (ammo and lane fees, if you own some guns and don’t need to rent).

  2. On second thought, my suggestions all require access to some equipment that people may or may not have ready access to…crap. Potluck parties anyone?


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