Is there a finance aficionado on your gift list? Or are you keen to spread the wealth in a more meaningful way than an envelope of cash? No matter the age, there’s a ton of money-related gift ideas out there. Whether you're trying to encourage financial literacy in your kids, or are buying something the stockbroker on your list will love, these gifts will put a festive spin on finance.
Start Them Young
Kids learn through example, and at very young ages, the most effective lessons often come through stories. Perfect for very young children, Benny’s Pennies by Pat Brisson is the perfect primer for responsible spending habits. Young Benny McBride is given five new pennies and is determined to spend them all in one day. He wants to buy his mother something beautiful, his brother wants something nice to eat, and Benny knows the household pets will want something too. At the end of the day, not only does Benny come home with five wonderful gifts, but he learns an important lesson as well.
A Story About Savings
Perfect for kids aged six to eight, Rock, Brock and the Savings Shock by Sheila Bair tells the story of twin brothers, Rock and Brock, who couldn’t be more different when it comes to handling money. One day, the boys’ grandfather comes up with a plan. "Listen now,” he says, “for here's the trick, each buck you save, I'll match it quick. But spend it, there's no extra dough, so save your cash, and watch it grow." Rock spends frivolously, while Brock puts his money away. Each week, as Rock gets just one dollar, Brock’s savings are matched, making Rock realizes he’s made a mistake. A great lesson in compound interest, this story also teaches kids that it’s never too late (or too early) to start saving.
Pass the Play Money, Honey
A child, no matter what age, never forgets their very first toy cash register stuffed with plastic money, or their very first piggy bank. Don’t forget there are all sorts of money-related board games on the market as well, including Monopoly, Money, and Power Grid.
Gifts for Tweens
Perhaps the best two books on the market for tweens are The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill and The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies. Both books are about the entrepreneurial spirit of the very young and just may inspire your child to try out their first moneymaking scheme.
Gifts for Money-Savvy Adults
For that hard-to-buy-for adult on your list, consider giving minted coins. There are also endless money-related books on the market, depending on your gift receiver’s interests. Finally, for the stock market guy (or gal) on your list, why not give them Black Friday, the board game? “When you invest in the stock exchange you want to buy low and sell high,” says the product description, adding that in times of need, players must turn to the "government" for subsidies to stay in the game. Described as "frighteningly realistic", the goal of the game is to convince other players your stocks have value, prompting them to buy, and keeping your profits high - a great gift option sure to keep your avid investor on their toes.
The Gift That Keeps On Giving - Literally
An interesting gift for any age, which teaches the spirit of giving and lending, is the gift of a Kiva account. Through Kiva, your gift-getter can lend as little as $25 to entrepreneurs in impoverished countries grow their businesses. Lend money to a group of women in Guatemala that will help them to buy laying hens for their poultry operation, or help a woman in Uganda to buy cloth and thread to make clothing. Some 853,999 Kiva lenders have loaned money to impoverished entrepreneurs in 66 countries. Truly a success story, Kiva boasts a repayment rate of 98.98%.