A piggy bank might seem like an obvious financial gift for a kid, but it’s an incredibly practical and timeless gift. However, you don’t need to give your child any old piggy bank. There are so many different options out there, ranging from TV or movie characters to educational piggy banks. The gift of a piggy bank can help teach kids about finance and money management in addition to being another unique decoration or knick-knack in their room.
Toy Cash Register
How about giving a toy cash register for your next gift? It’ll be an interesting toy for a young kid, especially as they push buttons and play with fake money. Plus, a toy cash register has the bonus perk of teaching kids about money. Additionally, an alternate to this would be a toy ATM, which is a more up-to-date financial tool they might be more receptive to.
Book About Money Management
This doesn’t mean you should go out and buy a boring book, of course. After all, how many kids are going to be happy about receiving a money management book? Luckily, there are plenty of fun and engaging children’s books based around finance and money management. Search Amazon or the children’s section of any bookstore to see one that you think will interest your kid.
Math Video or Computer Games
So many kids enjoy video games or computer games, so why not give them one that’s all about money? There are video or computer games for kids of all ages that range from simple math skills to financial skills. Finance based games are a great gift to give a kid since they’re both fun and educational. Many of the games are designed so that they don’t appear to be about math, which is definitely as plus since your kid will probably be more likely to use it.
In this digital age, sometimes it’s hard to introduce kids to board games. But the old standbys such as Monopoly, Life, or The Allowance Game are great gifts and provide important money lessons as well as many other benefits. You can make a game night with your kids and instead of just playing the game, you can help explain the importance of money. These are other fun and educational financial gifts for kids.
Not many kids will appreciate receiving a savings bond as a gift, but they’ll appreciate it once they’re older. A savings bond is a practical gift that will provide them with money down the road. While it takes awhile to double the money from a savings bond, and while interest rates might not always be high, a savings bond is still a timeless, smart gift. They can also learn about interest rates with I-bonds as well as inflation and how it works. You never know what financial problems might arise once they’re adults, so it’s good to have some bonds saved away for an emergency.
529 Savings Plan
So many people are worried about paying for college that starting a college savings plan is always a great gift idea. The money is tax-free and easily available for withdrawal once your child goes to college. If you’re looking to give a gift to a child of a friend or extended family member, check to see if they already have a plan in place. Anyone who’s wary of buying a savings bond, giving cash, or buying an investment in a child’s name should consider putting money into a 529 savings plan instead.
Another great financial gift to give your child is their very own 401(k). Again, this is not the most exciting gift, but it’s definitely one that will help them build a secure future. Take the money they make from chores or from any job they have and match either a portion or the entire amount of their paycheck. You can even set a cap if you’re worried about your own finances. This is a great gift because it’s not only teaching them the importance of saving money and having a 401(k), but it’s providing them with a steady savings account.
Stocks are another way to teach your kids about investments and money management. To make this gift really interesting, try to let them choose a reasonably priced stock to purchase. If you buy them a stock in something they’re interested in or a popular stock certificate, they’ll be more open to the idea. Like many other financial gifts, stocks are a great opportunity to teach kids about money while also providing the beginnings of a strong financial future.
In the end, the best financial gift for a child of any age is cash. Children won’t learn about money unless they experience using it firsthand. Fake money from toys or games only goes so far. Actual money will let them experience the ups and downs that come with having money. Plus, most kids will never turn down a gift of money.
(Photo courtesy of MJ/TR (´･ω･))