Are you looking for a few ways to save some cash this holiday season? The simplest way to reduce your holiday spending is to do away with gift giving all together. At the very least, you should trim your shopping list to include only those who are most important to you. If you are looking for a few money-savvy gift ideas, check out this list below:
Stocks/Bonds: That boring “bond” grandma gave you for Christmas when you were a kid, was actually a good idea. Not only does this open the door to teaching about investment and planning, you are giving a gift that accrues interest and increases in value, unlike most of the other items you will find at the store.
Talk to your local bank or credit union to find out how you can purchase stocks, bonds or CDs for your kids or grandkids.
A piggy bank: Kids and adults can benefit from a simple place to store money. This is a great introductory tool for young kids and can be a fun white-elephant gift for adults too. Piggy banks come in a variety of styles and sizes so you can personalize the gift.
Deposit for college fund: Consider investing in a 529 plan or other college-based investment program. The account is easy to setup and earns interest. The money can be used, interest free, for college education. If you are giving to a family member or friend, consider money for their child’s college fund. Every little bit helps.
Donate to a charity: If you are in the giving mood this year, consider giving money to a charitable organization or a local homeless shelter or orphanage. You can spread good will and give to the less fortunate. This is a great way to teach kids about the spirit of the holidays and the importance of making room for others in your monthly budget.
Financial Books: Remember to use tact and consideration when offering this type of gift so you do not offend the receiver. Check out a few popular titles about financial basics for college students or a newly married couple just starting out on their own. A friend who has expressed interest in getting out of debt or saving more money each month may enjoy a book that talks about frugal living.
Pay for an appointment with an advisor: This is a great gift, and one many couples or young adults would not likely get for themselves. A financial advisor can offer excellent advice, and your family member is more likely to listen to them than to you anyway! This is a great gift for new college students as well as older parents.
Food storage: It may not be pretty, but it is practical. Consider helping a family member start their food storage supply with goods that can be stored for at least 6 months (flour, sugar and honey are great choices.)
Instead of buying a gift that may get lost in an already crowded home, consider purchasing a gift that is helpful and provides at least a little more peace of mind for the future.