Better Than Cash: 5 Gifts for Grads

Graduation is one of the most important milestones in a person’s life, and it’s one of those occasions where gifts can really help out a struggling student transitioning to bigger and better things. A lot of people resort to just giving money for graduation. And trust me, no one would complain about receiving cold, hard cash! However, if you want to give something a little more personal, check out this list of five gifts for grads that are sure to be a hit.

1. Stocks

Even better than money, purchasing a stock for a recent graduate can get him thinking about his financial future early. Not to mention, it ensures that your cash won’t be spent immediately on graduation parties. Purchase stock from a well-known company, request a stock certificate and protect it with a specially engraved picture frame.

2. Accessories

Graduation is typically followed by job interviews, and looking great can help your grad obtain his or her dream job. Help a female grade complete her look with tasteful dangly earrings, a chic silver necklace or some simple and stylish bracelets. Help your guy grad embellish his look with some smooth cuff links, a sophisticated watch or a professional tie.

18k Rose Gold Plated Sterling Silver Two-Tone Simulated Diamond Double Open Heart Pendant Necklace, 18″

18k Yellow Gold Plated Sterling Silver Two-Tone Double Open Oval Pendant Necklace, 18″

3. Solar Chargers

Designed for a green and on-the-go lifestyle, solar chargers make sure her essential electronics are easily accessible wherever she goes. This gift is especially perfect for outdoorsy types but can be a useful tool for any grad who’s attached to his smartphone, tablet, laptop or all of the above.

Opteka BP-SC4000 Ultra Thin Solar Powered High Capacity (4000mAh) Backup Battery and Charger for Cell Phones, iPhone, iPod, and Most USB Powered Devices

ReVIVE Series Solar ReStore External Battery Pack with Universal USB Charging Port for Portable E-readers , MP3 Players , Smartphones & More USB Powered Devices

4. Books

Just because he’s not in school anymore doesn’t mean he should say goodbye to reading for good. If you’re not sure how to give the best advice or feel a little awkward getting sappy in a graduation card, allow the pros to express your thoughts for you. A couple of the most highly recommended titles for recent grads include “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch and “Just Who Will You Be?” by Maria Shriver.

Yay, You! : Moving Out, Moving Up, Moving On

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

5. Cookbook and Supplies

Whether your grad is headed off to college or the working world, there’s a good chance he’ll feel a little lost without mom’s home cooking. Unless you want him to resort to McDonald’s for every meal, do a grad a favor by giving him the tools he needs to cook for himself. A book filled with slow-cooker recipes and an accompanying Crock Pot would be one great option. Grads will likely be busy, inexperienced and probably on a budget, so look for cookbooks that accommodate all of these needs.

Fix-it and Forget-it 5-Ingredient Favorites: Comforting Slow Cooker Recipes

Crock-Pot SCR300SS 3-Quart Round Manual Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel

Remember to match your grad gift to the graduate wherever possible. For example, if your recently graduated friend or loved one is especially tech-geeky, purchase his stock from Apple and get him a Steve Jobs book. Graduating from college (and even high school) isn’t easy, so use this opportunity to really reward your grad for a job well done.

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