Take advantage of your youth. You still have a little time before Mom, Dad, and your aunts and uncles completely skip over you in their holiday shopping. When they ask you what you want this season, forget all about those Mary J-esque over-the-knee boots you saw in Macy’s window, or that smart gadget with thousands of functions you’ll never even use. Instead, ask for things that’ll fatten your wallet or help save what money you do have. Here are five very smart gifts to ask for this holiday season.
Can You Pay My Bills?: Take the lead from girl group wonder Destiny’s Child and ask your family to pay one of next month’s bills. Not having to come out of pocket for a cell or cable bill will give you way more cheer than a new bracelet.
Spare Change: Hopefully you’re far from begging on street corners, but asking for spare change may not be such a bad idea. Rolls of quarters will get you through more than a few laundromat trips, and they’ll definitely come in handy at the toll booth if you live in a major city. Ask your favorite uncle to collect all his loose change from now until the holiday dinner, and just gift it to you in a little baggie (with a bow if you’re feeling fancy).
Basic Needs: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs nailed air, water, and safety, but the human theory failed to include laundry detergent, toilet paper, and eggs. Tell Granny to just make you a basket filled with home cleaning supplies and toiletries, or a $50 grocery store gift card will do too.
Gas for Your Car: The economy is improving, but gas prices are still a little high. A fully loaded gas card to get you to campus or across town to that new job will feel like a million bucks on a rainy day.
Just Throw It in the Bag: The money bag, that is. Give your aunt, preferably the one with no kids who lives to spoil you, your PayPal info or banking numbers and ask her to throw in a few extra bucks. This’ll definitely help with next month’s rent.