Grad Gift Grab Bag

Of all the gifts you got when you graduated, which do you remember best? Almost none, right? That's because most people probably gave you money. And while we are fond of money for most things, a graduation gift is one where the cash is best spent by the giver, on something fun, practical, heartfelt or life-changing for a graduate on the brink of new growth. Or you could give them a pen. It's up to you.

Gifts that keep on giving

Better than Bose. The iLuv app station is beyond cool-looking, and it plays videos, music, apps, games and moonlights as an alarm clock—hello, job hunt!—all for just $89.
  Fiscal fitness. Don't drop a "hint gift" of some money magazine or book. Share what changed your financial life: a list of blogs; a classic you loved—"Getting a Financial Life", "The Millionaire Next Door"; the app, site or (cough) daily email you can't live without.
Charge it. When outlets are scarce, the tiny, portable Powermonkey will recharge most phones and handhelds. (Allow extra time for delivery.)
  Got gas? Stretching your wings takes a lot of fuel. Load up a gas card to help a grad keep moving.
Be piggy. Open a savings account with SmartyPig—then help your grad experience actual saving (!).
Collect debt. Most undergrads leave college with more than $20,000 in student loans; the bills can be hundreds per month. Round up a few friends and rellies who can take on a payment or two that first year to give the grad a break.
The right stuff. Whatever next step awaits, make sure your grad is well-equipped: contact cards for job hunters, a filing cabinet for the Ph.D., a microwave for those soon to be dreading the meal plan.
Life after ramen. Sure, they can watch Rachel Ray or Cheftubetv, but nothing beats a classic cookbook like Mark Bittman's " How to Cook Everything." Throw in a set of cheap pots and utensils (new cooks burn stuff a lot) and real food won't be far behind.
  Advice from a pro. Give your grad a leg up with a professional resume coaching session, or a meeting with a financial planner (you can find fee-only planners in your area at

Check out these Graduation gift ideas:

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