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Birthday Gifts You Can Give When You’re Flat Broke

by | Mar 26, 2019 | Birthday

Ever felt like the worst friend ever because you couldn’t afford to buy something for someone’s birthday?

I’ve been there.

That’s why I’ve put together a list of gifts you can give your friends even if you’re completely broke.



We’ll start with something simple. Coupons are always a great idea! Make different ones with experiences that don’t cost money (or something that you can save up for and do at a later date). Think up things that you guys are always wanting to do together but just aren’t making the time. Putting it in a coupon will force you to do it eventually!


2. Wash Their Car

Think up services that you can do for them like cleaning their house, washing their car, walking their dog, babysitting, house sitting, or pet sitting for free, give them a ride somewhere without asking for gas money.


3. Crafts or Handmade Gifts

Make something for them by hand – sometimes the materials cost money, but it doesn’t have to be much. Or you could raid your house for alternatives that might work (or raid your parents’ house. You know they have tons of junk stored up that they’ll NEVER use). As a parent, one of my favorite things to receive is a hand-drawn picture from my son or something that he colored at Grandma’s house. It might seem tacky, but you never know how much someone will treasure the gift you took the time and effort to make yourself.


4. Baked Goods

Everyone loves cookies!! Why not bake your friend some yummy goodies?? I’m definitely not the crafty-type. You should see my gingerbread houses (yikes). But something I can do is bake! I make killer snickerdoodle cookies, if I do say so myself. Everyone likes receiving delicious treats, especially when they’re baked with love and displayed on a pretty plate with a bow wrapped around them. Okay, maybe skip the bow. Unless you like bows. Then who am I to stop you.


5. Movie Night!

No one said seeing a movie had to cost money. Treat your friend to a birthday movie night, at home! If you have Netflix or some other streaming service, take advantage of it! Make some yummy treats like cookies or popcorn, and just enjoy spending time together.


6. Teach Them Something

No one knows everything (and if they say they do, their lying). Give your friend the gift of knowledge and tutor them for free, or maybe train them in a new skill that you have but they don’t. You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills…


7. Free Labor

Yes, I’m telling you to offer yourself up for some free labor. Maybe they have a big move coming or a project that they’ve been putting off because they don’t have the manpower. Gift them your strength and time to help them bust out that project! Isn’t that what friends are for?


8. Make a Video

Record a funny or meaningful video for them. Talk about all the amazing memories you have together, laugh about some inside jokes, or wish them something wonderful for their future. You can post it on social media or just send it to them privately. Whatever way you share it, it will definitely mean a lot to them.


9. Did Someone Say Music??

Aw, yeah! Creating a playlist of songs that remind you of someone is for sure the best gift ever. You can create it on YouTube, or use a music-streaming app like Spotify. It’s the 21st-century version of a mix-tape!


10. Write a Letter

People don’t send actual letters anymore, and it’s really kind of sad. If you’re not a fan of being in front of the camera, opt for a handwritten letter, poem, story, or song instead! Something that comes from the heart always means more. If you can draw, create a comic book with your friend as the main character and illustrate all the silly adventures the two of you go on together. Step it up a bit with a pretty font (or calligraphy, if you’re that cool) and find a cheap frame to put it in.


11. Get Some Birthday Freebies

Sign them up for a bunch of birthday freebies and take them out to celebrate! Now, this may cost you a bit, but it’s definitely something that will make them feel appreciated! No one has to know they’re getting their meal for free, anyway. Using our Free Birthday Fun app will make the planning easy peasy!

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