smart spending

Great holiday gifts for $10 or less

Music or a few well-chosen apps
Music or a few well-chosen apps © Goodluz/Shutterstock.com

Music or a few well-chosen apps

Whatever it is you want to do, there's probably an app for that. App lovers often find the best ones through word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family, Lowell says. "Then you say, 'How did I live without that?'"

So if you know of a couple of amazing apps, give them as gifts, he says.

Most apps these days run anywhere from 99 cents to $2.99, Lowell says. And that gives gift-givers plenty of leeway to select a few that really suit the needs of their recipients, he says.

In a similar vein, you can create a music playlist. On iTunes, songs run from 69 cents to $1.29, which means you have a lot of choices if you have a $10 budget.

"It's the emotional equivalent of the old mix tape," says Lowell. "Say it with music."

A playlist can also make a great hostess gift if you're going to a holiday party, he says. "A lot of times people get the party going, but they forget about the music."

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