This Year, Why not Give Children Financial Gifts that will Keep Giving Long after the Holidays?
We’ve all seen it or experienced it firsthand – the excitement of Christmas morning, children racing to the tree, anxious to play with the toys to be found there, but by afternoon the excitement has worn off, and the must-have toy is all but forgotten.
This year, why not give the child or children in your life a gift that keeps giving long after the holidays end? Here are eight types of financial gifts that do just that:
- For the youngest children on your list, consider giving them their first bank – a classic piggy bank. Be sure to put both coins and paper money in it to give them a head start. Plus, they’ll enjoy hearing the sound of the coins rattling around inside the bank when they shake it. Encourage them to put any future monetary gifts in their piggy bank to help them begin developing good savings habits.
- Take savings to the next level for elementary school-aged kids by helping them open their first banking and savings accounts. There are several monetary objectives that can be learned from these financial gifts. Having a personal bank account reinforces the importance of saving for the future. It also teaches patience and how money grows over time, as well as contributes to an understanding of want vs. need when it comes time to spend the money.
- Start or contribute to an existing 529 plan for a child. You can make a one-time contribution or set up ongoing donations to ensure future money is available to pay for the child’s college education.
- Give prepaid cards to pre-teens and teenagers this holiday season. Unlike credit cards, these cards have a specific amount already loaded on them — no more, no less. These financial gifts teach teens to live at or beneath their means, as well as how to budget for what they want to purchase.
- Present them with a Uniform Gift to Minors (UGMA) or Uniform Transfer to Minors (UTMA) account. Designed as a simplified way (e.g. no attorneys or trustees) for a child to own securities. Select companies that are familiar to your child – McDonald’s, Mattel, Hasbro, Walt Disney come to mind – and they can enjoy investing in their favorite products on a kid-sized budget.
- Although they generate little additional income unless you keep them for decades, U.S. savings bonds are still good financial gifts, and the reason why is because you have to hang on to them. Savings bonds are the ultimate in delayed gratification, but they’re safe and an excellent tool for teaching budgeting, planning for the future, and waiting to spend money.
- In this season of giving, why not make a charitable donation in your child’s name. This is an important lesson in why we should share our good fortune and wealth with others.
- Finally, consider buying a U. S. Mint proof set or commemorative coins from the U.S. Dept. of Treasury. Coin collecting is still a fun hobby that can last a lifetime. Purchase a 2015 mint set, such as the Presidential One Dollar set, featuring presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, or this year’s Uncirculated Coin Set. The U.S. Mint produces commemorative coins and medals each year, such as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King bronze medal or the one-dollar commemorative coin honoring the work of the March of Dimes.