Thanks to online shopping, it has never been easier to make purchases throughout the year. In times past, it was a big event to go out to stores at certain times of the year to shop for the holidays, especially on Black Friday. Cyber Monday then came around and eventually extended beyond just Monday. Households are now able to make purchases and take advantage of sales with very few restrictions. This means our houses are full of stuff ALL THE TIME. There are a number of creative gifts that you can’t put in a box but will have long term value and memories that everyone can enjoy. Below, our team of Advisors offer their suggestions for ways to get creative in your gifting this holiday season.
You can easily create a vacation savings account or holiday club account that family members can contribute to. These accounts can be linked directly to your direct deposit. Instead of unwrapping socks on the big day, you could open up a card with plane tickets to Las Vegas!
Now this lacks the wow factor for your kids but trust me, they’ll thank you later. Any family member can contribute to 529 plans that can be used towards college expenses later in life as well as providing tax advantages for those funding the account. For more information on the benefits of a 529 plan, be sure to contact your advisor.
Gift cards are always a win. Before pulling a fan favorite card from the center aisle, check your existing credit card, bank/credit union card benefits. Some give additional promotions for certain chains and retailers. You may be able to fund a $40 card while only spending $35…why not save?!
I know another one that lacks the wow factor but it is so important to put a policy in place once your child turns 18 if you haven’t already set up a permanent policy. The way pricing works with life insurance is simple, the younger and healthier you are, the less the premium is. That means that someone that is young and healthy can secure a rather large amount of insurance at little cost. I suggest being aggressive with the amount of coverage even if the need isn’t recognized in the short term. This is because as life progresses we fill it up with private school debt, mortgages, etc. and our income increases which benefits our household. Also, as we age health issues are inevitable. Once a policy is in place the rate is locked in regardless of what happens to your health after the fact.
How about a day out to an amusement park, museum, or sporting event? These are fun family days filled with smiles and selfies that will inspire your family. Consider investing in experiences that will create lasting memories over toys. A yearly pass to your state’s park system will provide you with numerous destinations for a family adventure.
Family Photo Session
Find a local photographer and schedule a family photo session. This will give you the opportunity to dress up in your best outfit, and create timeless memories. Family photos also make great gifts for relatives that may live out of town. Create a yearly photo album for your kids to look back at when they are older.
Shopping local has numerous benefits. For one, it allows you to get to know the store owners and the helpful folks who work there. You are also able to shop for products that have more intrinsic meaning while contributing to your local economy. This year, Small Business Saturday is set for November 27, 2021.
Charities need our dollars to exist and continue to make a difference in the communities in which they serve. Find a charity that supports a cause that you care about and consider donating to them. There are multiple ways one can give that provide tax advantages. Before you write them a check, consult your advisor.
Offer a helping hand
Some of the best family bonding experiences I have had with my children is when we are all volunteering for a cause. This is a great way to make a difference in your community and build character. Small gestures such as offering to babysit to allow for a night out or assisting with a home improvement project for someone in need can go a long way.