Birthday Gifts You Can Give When You’re Flat Broke
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/pet-sitting for free, or even just giving them a ride somewhere without asking for gas money. Sometimes it’s the smallest gesture that makes the biggest impact.
3. Crafts or Handmade Gifts
Make something for them by hand – the materials might 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. No amount of money can buy an experience like that.
6. Teach Them Something
No one knows everything (and if they say they do, they’re lying). Give your friend the gift of knowledge and offer to 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. Deal with it. If your friend has a big move coming up or a project that they’ve been putting off because they don’t have the manpower, your simple gift of just being available could make all the difference. Gift them your strength and time to help them bust out that work! 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’s sure to 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. Show your friend how much you appreciate their individuality with a unique playlist made just for them. 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. However you express yourself, it will be a gift that your friend will remember forever.
11. Get Some Birthday Freebies
Personally, this is my favorite option. Why not 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 all that planning easy-peasy so there’s no stress involved! You could even make it a whole day by doing a birthday scavenger hunt! Let your creativity run wild this year. After all, next year, they may do the same for you.