How much money will you spend on presents for the kids this holiday season? According to the National Retail Federation, the average shopper will spend about $400 on family members. And how much of that well thought out gift will be forgotten in a few short weeks? You may consider gifts that might keep on giving, in that they teach kids about money. There are a lot of money-themed gift ideas for kids out there – from chocolate coins to board games. There’s no guarantee any particular present will have a lasting impact, but you might as well try for something fun and educational, right?
A few ideas:
Playful gifts can be just as effective as practical ones. A game as simple as poker can teach about math and money. There are also plenty of money-oriented board games, from the obvious – Monopoly – to the more obscure -Tripoley. If you want something the kids are less familiar with but that isn’t overtly focused on money concepts, try Payday or Think Fun Math Dice.
This may be a great place to start. There’s Rock, Brock and the Savings Shock a story about twins – one who saves and one who spends. Other great books include Arthur’s Funny Money, about a brother and sister starting a bike-washing business to buy clothes and candy and Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, which is about a boy whose allowance burns a hole in his pocket.
Teach kids about giving back with CharityGiftCertificates.org – you make the donation, and they can pick the charity. A list of options, broken down by category, makes it easy and helps them feel good about the gift of giving back.
What may be suitable for teens? If you have older kids earning income of their own, you might start funding an IRA for them. You can only contribute as much as they earn, but Roth IRAs can be easily set up. Adding $1,500 a year could result in a gift worth a million dollars in 50 years. Even for younger kids, investing is an option. Buy them a share of stock in something they like – their favorite video game company, restaurant, or retailer – through a site like Share Builder or an account through Scottrade, and teach them how to monitor their investment. Start saving for college with a 529 plan, a gift that can eventually offer a significant gift in the future. These probably aren’t gifts that will have your kids jumping for joy on Christmas, but hopefully they lead to greater rewards in the future.
Do you have additional questions? Please do not hesitate to contact Ann or Brad.