With the holidays approaching, it seems we’re all in a mad dash to our favorite retailers. Between figuring out what to buy for those on our list, to buying the gifts, and then wrapping them, there’s no time to enjoy the holidays. And on top of that, how many gifts will we buy that end up at the bottom of some closet, only to be found when we appear on an episode of Hoarders?
Instead of maxing out our credit cards this holiday season, why not give a different kind of gift. I have in mind the gift of financial advice. And here are 5 ways to give it that your friends and family just may enjoy.
1. Company Stock: Buying a single share of stock in a company is an ideal gift for young children. While they may not fully appreciate the gift immediately, over time they will. Had you bought a single share of Apple 15 years ago, that $1 investment would be worth over $500 today. What a great way to teach a teenager about the value of long-term investing.
2. A Game: One of my favorite games is called The Settlers of Catan. It’s a strategy game that’s easy to learn and fun to play. And it requires players to formulate strategies, make investments, and take risks. It’s a great way to teach children about business and life, without letting on that they are actually learning something.
3. A Book: While you have to be a bit careful here, there are some friends and family members that could benefit from certain personal finance books. We all know somebody struggling to get out of credit card debt or save more for retirement. Two books I highly recommend are Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You to Be Rich. Both are excellent books that can really help folks get back on the road to financial freedom.
4. An Hour: Some folks just need help getting their finances organized. Whether it’s helping them prepare a monthly budget, organizing their financial papers, or perhaps developing a strategy to get out of credit card debt, an hour of your time may go a long way. We have friends that have helped a lot of people get their finances on track, and we’ve helped friends with their tax returns from time to time. Sometimes, all folks really need is a helping hand.
5. A Savings Account: For young children and teenagers, one of the best gifts to help them set up a high interest savings account at an online bank. These accounts make it easy to save and pay higher interest rates than traditional banks. But the best benefit is that children can watch as their money grows. As a result, they can see firsthand the benefits of saving.
The above are just a few ideas. If you know of other ways to give financial advice as a gift this holiday season, please share your ideas in the comments below.
Published or updated December 12, 2012.