The Best Gifts You Can Buy Mom on a Student's Budget

Making Mom feel appreciated can be easier (and cheaper) than you think

Mother kissing daughters cheek
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Gift-giving occasions like Christmas, Hanukkah and Mother's Day often come at a rough time for college students. They tend to fall at the end of the semester, a time when finals are quickly approaching and funds may be running low. Still, you want to show your mom you're thinking of her and appreciate everything she's done for you. Given those limitations, college students sometimes need to be a little creative when it comes to giving gifts.

Gifts to Give If You Have a Little Cash

1. Share your school pride. Swing by the campus bookstore for some mom-themed school paraphernalia. See if you can snag one of those "[your university name here] Mom" T-shirts or sweatshirts so she can show off how proud she is to have a kid in college.

2. Go with a classic. Send her a bouquet of her favorite flowers, or incorporate that flower into a more affordable arrangement. You can find an online seller or contact a local florist in your hometown, and be sure to ask if they offer a student discount or have a promo code for first-time buyers. Keep at mind prices might spike during times of high demand (like Mother's Day), so consider sending hers a few days early. You'll save some money while still letting her know you care.

3. Show her how generous she taught you to be. If your mom has a favorite charity, make a donation in her name. Not only is it thoughtful, it's budget friendly because you can choose to donate however much you can afford (and you don't need to tell her how much you spent).

Gifts Even Broke College Students Can Afford

1. Say thanks. Take a picture of yourself holding a big piece of paper or poster saying "THANKS!" in front of your school. You can put it on the front of a homemade card or put it in a frame.

2. Give her your time. Make a "coupon" redeemable for some quality time together when you're not in school.

It can be good for a cup of coffee, lunch, dinner or dessert — your treat, of course.

3. Give her something she's given you. Offer to make her a homemade dinner when you get home. Even if you're just learning to cook or are limited in the kitchen, there are plenty of easy recipes for college students you can try. At the very least, she'll appreciate the effort.

4. Take some time to write down your thoughts. It can be really hard to find the perfect card in a store, so make one yourself. Most moms would rather have an original, sincere, handwritten card than another generic gift anyway.

5. Pick up the phone. Don't forget to call! If you have room to improve in the "call Mom" department, consider giving a gift of setting a weekly phone date for you two to check in with each other.