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Practical Birthday Gift Ideas That Cost $30 or Less

When it comes to birthdays, nearly everyone loves a fair share of balloons, cake, and fanfare. Such a special occasion also calls for thoughtful gifts, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend a small fortune on a birthday present. Gift-giving is, after all, about joy — a way to celebrate and show the birthday boy or girl that you care.  It really is the thought that counts.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly yet thoughtful present, we offer you 9 practical birthday gift suggestions that each cost under $30. These are all meaningful and cool options, so you can help the birthday celebrant kick off their new year of life in style without breaking the bank!

– Dress Socks

Practical birthday gift idea for him.

Admittedly, dress socks may not stoke up our excitement the way top-dollar smart gadgets, jewelry, and the latest car models do, but perhaps that’s partly because when we give socks, we tend to focus on the wrong elements. If you can get the right pair, the gift some truly fine dress socks can provide is great joy and comfort.

Let’s not forget that socks are not only useful, wallet-friendly and practical but also simultaneously timeless and trendy. They don’t hog space but they give you so many ways to get creative with your gift.  There is indeed a dress sock for everyone, whether it be the trendsetter, the dapper gentleman, or the conservative dresser.

When giving dress socks as a gift, consider the recipient’s style and taste in fashion. Plenty of other factors go into choosing the right sock, though. No Cold Feet has a helpful guide to buying birthday socks as a gift.

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– Revlon Hair Dryer Brush

Practical birthday gift for her

If you’re looking for one of the hottest birthday gifts for her today, you won’t be let down by Revlon’s new line of hair dryer brushes. With almost 100K raving Amazon reviews in just a month, this product has earned cult status in the beauty and cosmetic world.  Happily, most hairstylists and beauty experts say it lives up to the hype.

As a gift, you can get the brush for well under $30.  If you’re looking for more brownie points, add the volumizer for an additional $15 or less to get the combo. This is one present she will treasure for many years.

– Multi-Device Wireless Charging Dock Station

Useful birthday gift idea for the techie

Do you have a techie in your life who is about to celebrate a birthday? We live in a gadget-centric society, with dependence on connected devices growing every other day. That’s why a multi-device wireless charging dock station is perhaps the perfect gift for a techie with several gadgets.

Several options are available on  the market today: 5-in-1, 4-in-1, and 3-in-1 charging docks from brands like Nomad, Powlaken, Popsockets, etc.. You can get a pretty decent dock station for $30 or less, allowing your loved one to simultaneously charge their iPhone, Apple Watch, Pencil, and other gizmos. Best of all, this gift will help keep nightstands looking neat and clean.

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– Himalayan Salt Lamp

Practical birthday gift idea for the wellness enthusiast

The beautiful amber glow of the Himalayan salt lamp is prized for its calming, air-purification, and healing properties. The lamp itself is gorgeous, so it can be used as an interior décor piece for a living room, bedroom, or bathroom. The recipient will appreciate that it creates a relaxing ambiance in your living space when turned on, helping to ward off stress and enjoy a higher sense of well-being.

– Night Light Bluetooth Speakers

Handy birthday gift idea for the little one

If your little one is not fond of old-school bed-side lamps, we highly suggest a night light Bluetooth speaker for their birthday.  Although these differ from one model to the next, they typically play music on command, connect wirelessly to your smartphone, and flash 4-6 different bright colors. That combination is a dream come true for most kids.

– Stainless Steel Tumbler

Practical birthday gift idea for the teacher

If you’re looking for an affordable birthday gift for a teacher — whether yours, your kid’s, or a friend, there’s nothing more thoughtful than a travel mug that can keep hot beverages warm and cool drinks cold. Look for one that features stainless steel construction and double-wall vacuum insulation.  This way, your favorite teacher can easily take piping hot coffee, tea, or cocoa to school.

Stainless steel tumblers are not only sleek-looking but also easy to clean and portable. Even more exciting, they usually come in an array of cool colors, so you are sure to score one that suits the recipient.

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– Handmade Clay Earrings

Best under $30 birthday gift for the lover of artisan stuff

Dainty earrings are usually the go-to birthday gift for budget shoppers.  Earrings make a beautiful, practical, and thoughtful gift.  For someone who loves all things artisanal, you won’t go wrong with handcrafted clay earrings. Clay earrings are comfortable, lightweight and gorgeous to boot.  You’ll find them on Etsy, Amazon, and other marketplaces — and they usually come in elegant modern patterns and colors.

– Scented Candles

Best under $30 birthday gift idea for everyone

Scented candles are an effortless go-to gift for birthdays, and it’s easy to see why. For just a few bucks more than you would spend for a mass-produced candle at a big-box retailer, you can get a unique product from an organic candle shop.

These boutique brands use a combination of soy wax and lovely scents to whip up candles that smell sweet and look pretty. Bonus tip: get a scent that will remind the recipient of their favorite destination/place.

– A Custom Star Map

Best sentimental yet practical birthday gift idea for $30 or less

Simply go online, order a custom star map, and you’re sure to make someone’s day. This map shows the stars exactly as they appeared on the date and at the location where the person was born, plus you can add a short message to make it truly personal.