Holiday gift giving for the little ones in your life doesn’t always have to be about the latest and greatest new toy or electronic gadget. How about a gift that improves over time?
Consider a financial gift for the kiddos in your life. The toddler or teen might not be impressed at first but will surely thank you later. Here are a couple ideas, big and small:
Piggy Bank – Use this as an opportunity to teach the importance of saving. Buy a piggy bank, deposit some coins and bills to get them started. Tell them to save half or more of everything they earn or receive as a gift. Once the piggy bank is full, tell them to return it and that you will match the contents up to a certain amount. Take the proceeds and open a savings account together.
529 Plan – No matter the age of the child, college may seem long into the future, but it is never too early to start saving for the high cost of secondary education. The 529 College Saving plan is tax-free when it is used for higher education expenses. The owner of the account, parent or grandparent, has control over the funds and can change the beneficiary. The funds in the 529 plan will not affect the amount of financial aid the child can receive once in college.
Savings Bond – Bonds are no longer available for purchase from financial institutions but are still a great way to teach kids about how interest can make your savings grow. Bonds can be purchased electronically for gifts by visiting www.treasurydirect.gov. You will need to know some specific information about the recipient before you order the bond, so make sure to do your homework in advance.
Stock – This one might be for the older child. Give them some seed money and tell them that they must use it to buy stock in a company of their choice. Take the time to work with them on this project. Teach them how to do research on the companies they are considering to make a smart choice. There are many online tools and resources available for the young investor to help them purchase and trade.