Turning 21 Gift Ideas

21st birthday decorations and presents

Welcome to Adulthood

Turning 21 is a major milestone in the life of any young person as it can mark his or her official transition into adulthood. Many new responsibilities and opportunities become available. A unique or interesting 21st birthday present is an excellent way to celebrate the occasion.

Happy 21st birthday etched glass

Custom Monogrammed Glasses

Every adult should have a nice set of glasses for beverages both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. A great DIY project is to personalize these glasses with a custom monogram. It could be the person's name, initials, nickname, or anything else of personal significance. A DIY etching tutorial will walk you through all the steps. Start by cleaning the glass. After the glass is completely dry, you simply apply a stencil, put on some etching cream, wait for it to dry and reveal, washing the glass in some warm soapy water.

Scratch Map World Poster
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Scratch Map World Poster

Encourage the new 21-year-old to explore the Earth and experience new cultures around the globe. This handy world map is designed so that countries can be easily "scratched" away to document where the person has been. Give the budding globetrotter his or her start for around $30.

Meeting with career counselor

Career Counseling Package

Little children may dream of being space cowboys and purple unicorns, but adults need to ground themselves in reality to decide on how to make a living based on their skills and personality. Offer the gift of a lifetime of fulfillment and prosperity with a consultation package at your local career counseling office. Pricing can range considerably, so shop around and ask for references.

Las Vegas strip at night

Las Vegas Trip

"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" and the legal age for almost anything in the state of Nevada is 21. In what could be the first trip without parental supervision, a Vegas vacation with friends can involve gambling, drinking and other adult-oriented indulgences. Fund the flight and hotel for as little as a few hundred dollars and let the young adult make his own mistakes.

Receiving keys to new (used) car

Brand New (Used) Car

The start of adulthood is also marked with a significant increase in independence. And there's nothing that supports this desire to find their own path than a fresh set of wheels, even if those wheels have been previously enjoyed. While a brand new car may be preferable, giving away the family car or buying a used vehicle for a few thousand dollars can be just as good.

Young man trying on custom tailor made suit

Custom Tailor-Made Suit

Every young man needs at least one good suit to wear to formal occasions and job interviews. Off-the-shelf suits simply do not fit as well as a bespoke suit that has been made to measure. Online shops like Raffinatto can take measurements over the Internet for added convenience with tailor-made suits starting at under $500.

Home cleaning service

Home Cleaning Service

It may be an unfair stereotype that college students and young adults living on their own for the first time can be complete and utter slobs. They're too busy going on dates, studying for exams, and striking out on new careers. Give the 21-year-old the gift of cleanliness with a weekly maid service, which typically starts at around $20-30 per hour, per cleaner.

Movado Museum Bracelet Watch
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Movado Museum Classic Watch

A classy gentleman should have a classy wristwatch, not a cheap $15 knockoff from the random kiosk at the shopping mall. The Movado Museum Classic is elegant and understated, providing the recipient with a grown-up watch for a grown-up life. It's great for subtly impressing new business contacts. Retail price is about $800.

Woman reading recipes

Book of Family Recipes

Perhaps the greatest present you can give to a young adult trying to find her way in a brave new world is full and unfettered access to years of experience and tradition. Let her cook her childhood favorites, like grandma's sweet potato pie or Uncle Jerry's honey-glazed ribs, with a completely unique cookbook filled with treasured family recipes.

Pandora Moments Silver Bracelet With Heart Clasp in Sterling Silver
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Pandora Bracelet and Charms

Jewelry is a popular present for young women, but what makes the Pandora bracelet so unique is that it can be customized with charms as the recipient hits life milestones. There are charms to mark marriage, world travel, the birth of her first child, and so much more. The standard silver bracelet itself is around $60 with individual charms starting around $10.

You Need a Budget
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You Need a Budget

Many people emerge from college lacking the skills and knowledge to manage their money properly. In addition to student loans, they can become overwhelmed with credit card debt and paying the rent. A wonderful online tool called You Need a Budget is great for gaining "total control of your money" with the standard plan costing $5 a month or $50 a year.

Kate Spade Cameron Street Small Candace Women Leather Tote
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Kate Spade Leather Tote

Just as the young man can sport a professional, adult look with a well-tailored suit, the young woman needs to graduate from her high school wardrobe with a grown-up purse. The Cameron Street Small Candace leather tote from Kate Spade is an excellent example for about $200. It offers a look that's perfect for both job interviews and a girl's night out alike.

Growing up is hard enough. A person only turns 21 years old once and it's important to make the milestone with a thoughtful gift suitable to the occasion, one that helps the individual better prepare for the challenges that await them in adulthood. From career coaching to a fine-tailored suit, your gift can be as unique as its recipient.

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Turning 21 Gift Ideas