According to the National Retail Federation‘s recent spending study, the average person buying graduation gifts will spend about $100 this year, and will likely be shopping for two graduates. If you need to buy graduation gifts for a recent high school grad, we’ve put together a gift guide that will help you find the perfect present. Whether you actually plan to spend $100, or need to stick to a more modest budget, there’s a gift on this list that will make any high school grad very happy. Read on to see our top picks for graduation gifts in 2015.
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1. The Voting Game
Shopping for a grad who loves the subversive game Cards Against Humanity, but want to get them something new to play? The Voting Game offers all the hilarity of Cards Against Humanity, but with a fresh twist.
Designed for between six and eight players, this card game revolves around reading a question, and then voting which of players would best fit that question. Example questions include “Who would have the hardest time talking their way out of an insane asylum?” or “Who would lose an election because of something they did in high school?” This is a great game for high school grads who are heading off to college, and need a game to act as an icebreaker with all the new people in their dorm. It’s also a fun game for them to play with their high school friends when they are home on break.
Price: $14.99 (25 percent off MSRP)
2. Dell XPS13 Ultrabook
Named one of the best new laptops of 2015 by Laptop Magazine, the Dell XPS13 is a stellar graduation gift. Every high school grad deserves a new laptop, whether they plan to head to college, enter the workforce, or even enlist in the armed forces. This laptop is razor thin, and weighs just over two and a half pounds.
Despite that thin profile, this laptop boasts a battery life of up to 15 hours. This model runs on a 5th Generation Broadwell Intel Core i5-5200U 2.20 GHz processor, with Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.70 GHz. There’s ample RAM, along with a solid graphics card and a roomy 128GB solid state drive, rather than a clunky hard drive. If you want more ultrabook recommendations, check out our post on the best Ultrabooks under $1000.
Price: $894.66 (25 percent off MSRP)
3. Withings Activite Pop Smart Watch (Activity and Sleep Tracker)
A watch is a traditional graduation gift, but these days a smartwatch is a far better option than an analog watch. This new model from Withings gracefully strides the line between fitness tracker and smartwatch, and it will definitely appeal to those who find the look of those “rubber band” fitness trackers somewhat ugly or unprofessional.
4. ‘I Just Graduated Now I’m All Smart and Stuff’ T-Shirt
Need an inexpensive gift? Shopping for a somewhat distant relation you don’t know all that well? This shirt is a solid choice. It’s funny, but also budget-friendly. This shirt is available in a variety of colors and sizes, to suit all body types and genders.
Price: $19.99 – $22.99, depending on size and color selected
5. Lacoste Men’s Blue Resin Watch with Textured Silicone Band
If an analog watch is ideal for your favorite grad, this colorful option from Lacoste is a nice choice. It is available in blue, gray, red, white, and green. It’s also water-resistant to 30 meters, making it durable and ideal for swimmers. This is a watch that strikes a nice balance between quality and youthfulness.
6. Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By
All too many high school grads get themselves into financial trouble when they get their first credit card. This helpful book can help new grads develop good financial habits now, before they get deep into debt. Practical gifts might not always seem fun, but this is definitely a gift they will appreciate over the months and years to come.
Price: $12.51 (17 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By here.
7. Canary All-in-One Home Security Device
Worried about the high school grad who is moving into their first apartment? If their first place is in a bad neighborhood, this home security device can give you both great peace of mind. The Canary system lets you stream real-time video from the 1080p HD camera. The camera has a 147 degree wide-angle lens to capture all the action in a room, and also boasts automatic night vision. If a break-in or other emergency occurs, Canary has a 90+ dB siren to sound the alarm. This device plays nice with both iOS and Android devices, and does not require any monthly maintenance fees.
8. Philips Norelco S7370/84 7300 Shaver
Every guy needs a quality shaver, especially if they want to be taken seriously at work, or in their college classes. This shaver can be used wet or dry, and is ideal for guys with sensitive or problem skin. A unique micro-bead coating reduces friction by 30 percent, while specially-designed heads can move in five directions to clip every single hair.
Price: $159.95 (11 percent off MSRP)
9. Badgley Mischka Fine Jewelry Champagne Diamonds Blue Topaz Pendant
If you want to get your daughter something really nice for graduation, this elegant necklace from Badgley Mischka is a perfect choice. While it is a bit expensive, it is available online at a deep discount. This stunning piece will look great on your favorite grad right now, but is also quality enough to become a family heirloom someday.
Price: $229.89 (40 percent off MSRP)
10. Amazon Gift Cards
An Amazon gift card is a great gift for new grads. They can use a gift certificate to purchase college textbooks, furnish their first apartment, or buy new clothes for work. Other gift card options to consider are certificates to spend at Sephora, Whole Foods, or Starbucks. After all, every grad can use a little summer skincare help, some free groceries, or a caffeine boost.
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