How to Treat Your Friends Real Nice When You’re on a Budget

Doing things for your friends does not have to cost a lot and it always feels good to make a nice gesture. The hardest part about leaving college is that I don’t often get to see my friends from school anymore.  We are all from different places and we are all too broke to live anywhere, but at home with our parents.  It’s hard to stay connected when you aren’t seeing someone everyday and I think it can be easy to let little things push you apart when you could just melt into your post-grad life. So here are a few ways to keep the magic flowing if you have a small number on your bank statement.  Some may say this is the equivalent of buying love, but I like to think of it as selflessly spending for others.

1. Made With Code Bracelets:


Christi doesn’t understand the idea of photographic negative space

If you follow Mindy Kaling’s instagram you may have seen these bracelets before.  Along with Chelsea Clinton, Mindy Kaling hosted an event to celebrate the start of Google’s $50 million initiative to get young girls interested in coding.   Basically you can go to the Made With Code website (, go through a series of very easy coding prompts, pick your color and the words you want written on the bracelet, and then the whole thing is printed off on a 3D printer and sent to you for free from Google.

Maybe it was abusing the system, but I made a couple for my friends to let them know I was thinking about them.  They are really cute and I think everyone gets a little happy jolt when they get mail that isn’t loan repayment bills.  It takes about a month to receive your Made With Code bracelet, so if you are planing on getting one for a birthday or special occasion, make sure you plan accordingly.

2. Postcards & Letters – The first few months after I graduated I really got into the idea of letter writing. Most of the ways that you will communicate with your friends post-grad is electronically through social media, just liking and re-blogging their words or pictures.  I’m not going to tell you that this is the wrong way to keep in touch.  If your friend posts a selfie on their Instagram, it is your responsibility to like it and write a flattering comment. However, there is little romance in a thumbs up.  Sometimes I wanna see my friends curly, crazy handwriting, and hear stories that are more intimate than they would share in their status (unless you hang out with those people who like to share

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Sarah does

everything).  I think there something intimate and affectionate about how a person will tell the story to you, specifically. What nicknames they will call you, and what memories they will call upon to explain how something looked or felt.  Plus buying stationary can be really fun and personal and sending postcards is as cheap as it gets.  Which is great if you are low on funds.  I sent off a couple of letters to people, though in truth most of my friends are not as writing-focused as I am, so they were not entirely as enthused.  I got some responses back, some only texted to say they got it.  The problem is that most people don’t have the time to write letters anymore, and if they did, they’d rather watch Netflix.  Don’t let this discourage you, though.  There is a reason why I included postcards/letters to my list. Here is what I suggest:

 >If you want to pursue letter writing, find a friend who is willing to commit with you.  Letter writing is a whole art that you must learn about and get better at.  We don’t really communicate with our words that often, so there is a good chance that you may need time to figure out your writing style and the best way to tell a story or an idea to another person.

>If you don’t want to put pressure on them to respond, send a postcard.   Find something funny and write a message that doesn’t ask them a question, i.e.: I’m so happy you got that internship!  Game of Thrones sucked last night (though we all know it didn’t).  Your dog and I are in a secret relationship and she says she like me best! Whatever.  Just go into it with the idea that you are sending them a little love to brighten their day.

The best part is that more often than not they will at least send you a Snap Chat or text showing you what they’ve received and telling you how much it means to them.  I have one letter I received from Sarah (pictured above) where she handmade the stationary.  And Christi (to the right) keeps a postcard I sent her at her desk at work.  All of these mementos can just be special tokens that keep you feeling connected.  Your friends will appreciate that you tried to make them feel special, even if you did while sitting on the couch in your underwear.  I think I’ll end on that mental image for my buddies, enjoy!

**Special thanks to my friends who are letting me post their beautiful faces on the internet.  You are wonderful people.