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Holiday gift ideas that make good financial sense

Our Blog Nov 27, 2017
Columbia Threadneedle Investment Team

Finding the perfect holiday gift can be challenging. But giving someone you care about a boost in their financial knowledge or goals is always a good idea.

A great way to achieve your important life goals is to create good financial habits — and it’s not too late to start. So this holiday, we’re sharing holiday gifts that will inspire, motivate and help set friends and family of any age on the right path to financial happiness.

Give kids a financial head start:

Stories worth reading:
Children’s books can entertain and teach money management concepts at the same time. Start with these two classics: The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money, by Stan and Jan Berenstain and Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst.

Games that pay off:
There are a number of fun and time-tested board games that require players to think about budgeting, saving and investing their game money. Try Monopoly Junior, the Game of Life or Pay Day.

A piggy bank with a twist:
Although a pink pig with a coin slot is the classic choice for encouraging kids to save, consider upgrading to a bank with three compartments: spend, save and share. It can help kids learn to budget, balancing current spending with saving for the future and remembering to help others as well.

A gift to cash-in later:
While kids might not understand the effect of a 529 contribution now, they will thank you later. A contribution can help ease the burden of student loans in the future. Consider making a college savings gift every year around the holidays so their plan can grow.

Give grown-ups (including yourself) a boost in their financial knowledge:

Books that up your know-how
There’s no shortage of financial books targeted to people in different stages of life and financial conditions. Consider one of these best sellers:

  • Smart Money, Smart Kids — Best-selling author Dave Ramsey teams up with daughter Rachel Cruze to offer an engaging read on teaching kids to handle money wisely.
  • The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy — Thomas J. Stanley researched the financial habits of Americans who successfully accumulate wealth and distilled them into a simple set of rules anyone can follow.
  • The Richest Man in Babylon — George Samuel Clason delivers classic financial wisdom through a series of parables.

Pocket-sized financial goals
Choose a fun, pretty or practical notepad that fits in your pocket. The purpose? To make tracking daily purchases easy. The first step in budgeting is figuring out where your money goes: write down every expenditure for one month, and build your budget from there.

Advice that matters
Whether it’s for a young adult just starting out or a baby boomer facing retirement, the expertise of a financial advisor is a valuable gift. Recommend a financial advisor you trust and even make an introduction to get the ball rolling. It may just be the kick start your loved one needs to make the most of their hard-earned money and build a realistic plan for achieving their financial goals for the future.

Bottom line
Giving someone you care about a leg up on their financial future makes for a great gift this holiday. After all, these gifts can last them for years to come, and helping someone reach their goals is always a good idea.

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Tagged with: College Savings, Investing