DIY Gifts for the Thrifty

If you’re on a budget this holiday season, consider making gifts for your friends or family. Homemade presents often mean so much more because you’ve taken the time to think about what your loved ones like most.

DIY Level: Easy

A custom-made gift basket, or jar – like the ones featured by One Good Thing by Jillee – are a thoughtful, easy to make and generally wallet-friendly.Simply determine a theme and start buying goods to fill basket/jar/container. Let the person and their interest dictate what you use to fill in the jars or baskets.

Easy-to-make ideas, include:
• Breakfast Lovers
• Grill Master
• Coffee Time
• Snack Attack








DIY Level: Medium

If you prefer to be a bit more hands-on, consider crafting something for your loved one. There are tons of ideas out there and you can gauge money and time spent depending on the craft.

• If you know someone who loves tea, make a decorative tea wreath.











• Improve someone’s desk space by creating a knock-off gold desk organizer.












There are endless options and ideas available all over the web; however, it’s up to you to figure out the perfect homemade gift. Be creative. After all, the best gifts really do come from the heart.

What are some of your ideas? Share the word to help others be thrifty gift-givers!



3 Ways to Survive
Holiday Shopping

Keep your sanity, maintain your budget and enjoy a happier gift-giving season with these easy-to-follow shopping tips:

  1. Set Limits. Ask your friends and family to set a dollar amount on the gifts exchanged. This is an effective way to ensure you and your loved ones don’t splurge. It’s also a great way to maintain your budget when buying for a large family and a lot of friends.Likewise, consider a holiday gift exchange. Ask your family or friends to write down a few gift ideas. Set a purchase limit. Then, exchange names. This helps keep your shopping time to a minimum and everyone can walk away with something they really wanted.
  2. Plan Ahead. Sometimes we wish we had a little more money set aside for the holiday season and we usually do not think about it until we start shopping. Next year, with a little disciplined effort, you could set money aside each month specifically for holiday shopping. If you are forgetful, there are accounts that do this automatically for you. With an Apple Holiday Club Account, you can set it up with as little as $5.00 and have the deposits set up at any dollar amount you want. Come November first, all the funds get deposited into your account.
  3. Shop Smart. If you are still working with limited funds, you may find yourself reaching for a credit card to make all of your needed purchases. Not to worry. You can use your credit card to your advantage too. Look for a fixed-rate credit card with a reasonable credit limit, like Apple’s Student Visa® Credit Card. Options like this help you build credit which is really good for your future. Just make sure you choose the right card for you.

No matter how your plan to tackle the holiday season, always remember the purpose of the holiday season is to have fun, relax and spend time with family and friends — not stress out.

4 Travel Tips:
Going Home for the Holidays

Mid-terms are over. Your brain feels hazy. You miss your friends and family. You crave a home cooked meal. You’re ready to go home. Sound familiar? Whether you plan to fly or drive, before you pack up, prepare for travel with these super simple tips.

Mid-terms are over. Your brain feels hazy. You miss your friends and family. You crave a home cooked meal. You’re ready to go home.

Sound familiar?

Whether you plan to fly or drive, before you pack up, prepare for travel with these super simple tips.

Reduce Airfare Costs.

Last minute airline reservations can be pricey. Fortunately, there are several websites that offer price comparisons – eliminating the hassle of shopping around. Loaded with steep discounts, STA Travel should be your first stop to shop. You can search sites like and to compare more pricing options too. Sites sometimes also recommend to wait a few days to make your purchase – potentially saving you a few more bucks. Plus, do not forget to ask for student discounts especially if you buy directly from an airline. You never know how much more you can save.

Prepare to Drive.

Make sure you and your car are ready to hit the road. Prepare to drive by getting a good night’s sleep. Don’t forget to eat well and pack a few snacks or some extra cash for a quick bite. Avoid being stranded along the highway by checking your tires, oil, windshield wipers and other vehicle fluids. If you prefer the DIY approach, check out NAPA’s how to check fluid levels video.

Fuel Up.

Consider carpooling with a friend who’s headed in the same direction. Splitting fuel costs whenever possible will help you save. Save even more cash with sites like or phone apps like GasBuddy where you can see the lowest gas prices within your route.

Pack and Purge.

Take advantage of the trip back home and empty your closet of the things you don’t need or bring back some things you miss most. Whatever the case, grab an extra bag to transfer items back and forth, even if it’s simply to swap out seasonal clothing. Remember, you can switch the clothes back during spring break or a later holiday.

Use these tips the when you travel and stress-less during your next homebound visit. After all, you deserve a slice of pumpkin pie and an enjoyable time with your loved ones.



  • Juliff, Lauren. “The Best Websites for Finding Student Airfare.” About Travel., 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.
  • Haskin, Melissa. “Tips For Moving Across The Country | Brass.” Tips For Moving Across The Country | Brass., 13 Oct. 2014. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.
  • “Tips for College Students Travelling Home for the First Time.” Web. 23 Oct. 2014.