A Gift-Giving Guide for the Truly Broke

Even the young and the penniless can wish their loved ones a happy holiday without going into debt.

The holidays are upon us, and, as has been the case since I started college, I have no money. Perhaps you, too, have blown your would-be holiday gift budget on something frivolous like, say, rent. This is when the season of giving can get tricky. You don't want to spend outside your means, but you don't want to look like a cheapskate, either. I've navigated these waters for years and spoken with some etiquette experts to get their professional advice. Here's more than a nickel's worth of our tips — for free.

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Ryan Ermey
Former Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Ryan joined Kiplinger in the fall of 2013. He wrote and fact-checked stories that appeared in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and on Kiplinger.com. He previously interned for the CBS Evening News investigative team and worked as a copy editor and features columnist at the GW Hatchet. He holds a BA in English and creative writing from George Washington University.