Do you know what I hate? Spending a bunch of money on gifts that my kids play with for one week and then lose interest in. That’s why these past couple of years I have put my main focus on buying practical gifts that my kids can love and appreciate.
Instead of buying toys that will be tossed to the side why not give your kids a gift that will last or teach them something new? Here are seven financial gifts for kids.
# 1 – An Extra College Savings Contribution
If you have a college savings account or 529 opened for your child, Christmas is a great time to make an extra contribution. If your child is young they won’t notice that regular gift money has instead went to their future.
If your child is a little older you could write up a receipt and put in a card showing the contribution and their account balance. My kids get very excited every time I tell them how much money they have saved for college.
# 2 – Open A Savings Account
If you’re not ready to open a college savings account or would like to provide another way for your child to save, a regular savings account is always a good idea.
My daughters opened up savings account with our local bank through their school and are allowed to make deposits at school every Thursday. In addition my oldest daughters puts half of any gift money she receives in the bank.
For her (age 7) walking into the bank and making a deposit is better than buying a toy at the store. She feels so proud of herself and loves watching her savings add up.
Opening up a savings account and contributing a little money could be a much more fun gift for your child than you could even imagine.
# 3 – Open a Checking Account for Your Teenager
I was 19 years old before I learned how to write a check. It was embarrassing. I wish I would’ve been taught about money at a much younger age, but I wasn’t.
When my kids get a little older they’ll both have checking accounts so that they can learn how money works. If you have a teenager a great gift would be a checking account with a little money in it and lessons on how to use a debit card, write a check and balance a checkbook.
# 4 – A Personal Finance Book
Everything I learned about money I was first taught through a book. Personal finance books, even for little ones, can be a great learning tool.
Don’t worry you don’t need to get your child a copy of The Total Money Makeover (unless they’re older and you think they’d be into it!) Books on things like gratitude, giving and math skills can work.
# 5 – Toys that Teach
If you don’t like the idea of opening up accounts fear not, there are still many toys you can buy that will be beneficial. Here a few ideas:
- Toy Cash Register
- Math and Counting Games
- A Piggy Bank
- A Wallet
- A Purse
# 6 – Savings Bond
When I was a kid my grandmas got me and my brothers Savings Bonds for our birthdays. (Unfortunately, we ended up cashing them all out as teenagers.) Nevertheless, Savings Bonds can be great gifts for kids and teach about interest.
# 7 – Cash
Last but not least there’s good ole cash.
You can give your child cash to spend as she chooses or have her save half and spend half. Another option is to give your child cash and then take her to the store and let her see how far she can make her money go.
Giving a Gift that Lasts
Of course, all the gifts you give your kids don’t have to be money based. However, choosing one or two financially oriented gifts for Christmas and every gift giving opportunity beyond that can be great ways for your child to accrue both knowledge and savings that can benefit her in the future.
What kind of financial gifts have you given your kids in the past?