One of the most popular traditions of the holidays is giving and receiving presents. For most people, the joy of giving gifts to loved ones is tempered by the thoughts of having to pay off a huge January credit card bill. But you don’t have to go into debt to make sure that everyone gets something special this season. Use these value gifting tips, so you don’t have to feel like a Grinch.
1. Participate in a gift exchange. Buying gifts for everyone in a group of friends or all of your coworkers can get expensive. This year have everyone draw a name and buy just one gift for that person. Don’t forget to set a price limit on the gift to avoid competitive gifting.
2. Re-gifting. Regardless of the bad name that re-gifting has received through the years, there is no reason it should be a social taboo. If you get a gift which you truly believe someone you know would appreciate more than you, don’t be ashamed of re-gifting it. Just be sure that the person who gave you the gift in the first place doesn’t find out.
3. Give an experience. Things are wonderful but present someone with the opportunity to experience something different and exciting is almost always better. Taking your nieces and nephews out for a day of sailing is a much better gift than buying them something they will lose or get bored of quickly.
4. Provide a service. Has that classic car been sitting in your brother’s garage for years gathering dust? Why not offer to fix it up for him? If you are not a car expert, there must be something you can do well enough to offer as a gift. You can also swap your service to someone else in exchange something you can give as a gift.
5. Bake or make something. Yes, homemade gifts can be a bit too artsy sometimes. But you can avoid an uncomfortable situation by giving something the recipient will actually enjoy using or eating. The holiday season is the perfect time to give out your ‘secret recipe’ to anyone who has been asking for a copy.
6. Shop out of season. If you plan ahead, you can stock up on gifts throughout the year when they go on sale. It is a good idea to stow away a few gifts in the back of your closet for an unexpected occasion.
7. Purchase a couple/family gift. Save money by foregoing individual gifts and give a more significant shared present. Not only will you cut down on your budget, but you also won’t have to shop for as many presents.
8. Shop smart. Look for two-for-one deals, introductory offers, and special discounts. Lots of subscription services have fantastic prices to get you hooked on the service. Just be sure to cancel the subscription before it auto-renews at full price.
9. Send E-Cards. For some people on your list like a former college roommate or a family friend, you usually just send a holiday card each year. Why not save on the cost of a card and postage by sending an E-Card this year? The person will know you are thinking of her, and you can save a ton of cash, not to mention paper.
10. Start giving your grown kids their inheritance now. Do your kids have a favorite piece of furniture or painting they already called ‘dibs’ on? Why not give it to them now as a holiday present? Not only will you save money and delight your children, but you can have the pleasure of watching them enjoy it.
What about children? While teachers address the usual academics subjects like reading, mathematics, and writing in the classroom, learning about economics and personal finances are left out of the majority of public school curricula. That means the responsibility falls upon parents to expose their kids to these essential lessons. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to help kids learn more about finances which don’t have to wind up costing you a lot of money. These five unique gift ideas will give your children a substantial advantage when it comes to financial security and money management skills in the future.
1. A prepaid debit card. Today’s kids are more independent than ever before. Give a child the power and responsibility to make his or her own financial choices and mistakes with a prepaid debit card. There are plenty of prepaid debit cards available but try to find one geared specifically to kids. Many of these cards have added features which allow parents to view a child’s purchases, block purchases at certain stores, and recharge the card when it is getting low.
2. Gold. Do you want to give a child a present which will not only bring a sparkle to her eye but one she will also in the future? Then it is difficult to go wrong with giving the gift of gold. You can choose to give gold in a variety of forms from coins to gold bars. You can usually find a large variety of gold coins with impressions to match someone’s interests. Some givers may even consider gifting gold in the form of jewelry. Whichever form the gold takes, it is essential to explain to a younger child that it is valuable, and they should treasure it. Parents may want to hang on to it for their kids until they feel the child is responsible enough.
3. Purchase shares of stock in a favorite company. Introduce the stock market to a child by giving them real shares in the company which produces his or her favorite product. Not only will the child start their portfolio at a young age, but it is the perfect opportunity to sit down to have a meaningful discussion about how the market works and why investing is an integral part of financial planning. For adults who don’t want to spend much money on stocks or who want an older child to gain real experience when it comes to buying and selling shares, there are several kid-friendly stock market simulators available online
4. Contribute to the kid’s college fund. While giving child money to help pay for college may not be flashy like gold or even as cool as a stock certificate, it can help them in the future. Family friends and relatives can make contributions to the child’s 529 College Savings Plan or Coverdell Educational Savings Account (ESA). Each of these plans offers different benefits, so talk to a professional to see which one is right for you.
5. Books about money. While monetary gifts may increase the size of a kid’s bank account immediately, providing solid financial education is worth much more in the long run. It is never too early to start helping a child to explore topics relating to money. There’s a wide range of books which can help kids learn not only about the value of money but how to grow and protect what they earn. Choose a light-hearted picture book or an easy-to-read introduction about money for the elementary school crowd. For kids in middle school and above consider books on investing.
Whichever gift you give, make sure that it makes financial sense for you. Speaking to a financial professional is the best way to determine how and when you should be giving monetary gifts to your children.
By: Johnathan R. Rankin, CRPC® CEPA®
Registered Representative of Sanctuary Securities Inc. and Investment Advisor Representative of Sanctuary Advisors, LLC.– Securities offered through Sanctuary Securities, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC. – Advisory services offered through Sanctuary Advisors, LLC., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. – Theorem Wealth Management is a DBA of Sanctuary Securities, Inc. and Sanctuary Advisors, LLC. This communication has not been reviewed for completeness or accuracy, does not necessarily reflect the views of Sanctuary Securities, Inc. or Sanctuary Advisors, LLC., and is not a recommendation or endorsement of any product, service, or issuer. Third party posts do not reflect the views of Theorem Wealth Management or Sanctuary Securities, Inc. or Sanctuary Advisors, LLC., and have not been reviewed for completeness and accuracy. All further communications from this representative must be sent from and received by [email protected] . Third party posts do not reflect the views of Theorem Wealth Management or Sanctuary Securities, Inc. or Sanctuary Advisors, LLC., and have not been reviewed for completeness and accuracy. All further communications from this representative must be sent from and received by [email protected] .
Subscribe to our blog and get up to date on what’s happening today, get useful financial tips and stay informed on Theorem’s latest news.SUBSCRIBE
Access our comprehensive, unbiased financial guides here.