As we’re approaching the giving season, I wanted to throw out a few unique ideas for last minute financial holiday gifts. Now, when I use the term “financial gifts” I mean something that is not your typical physical gift. Here are a few thoughts I had:
1. 529 Plan Contributions – A 529 plan is one method for saving for a child’s college education. It doesn’t have to be your child! Some states even allow tax deductions on your tax return for contributions. Did you know that it’s pretty simple to contribute to someone else’s 529 plan? Usually it involves writing a check and mailing it to the institution where the 529 plan is held. Look into this before you do it! This is a unique way to contribute to a child in a way that won’t get thrown out or tossed aside after a few weeks of use!
2. Gift Cards – I know that this is technically a physical product, but the flexibility of it is what I’m going to talk about. You can give gift cards in one of two ways that can still be very meaningful. The first is to give gift cards to a place where you know that person regularly spends their hard-earned money on necessities. How I wish that I didn’t have to spend so much of my hard-earned money on gas or groceries! The second is the complete opposite. Give someone a gift card to a store, spa, or even for a service that they would never get themselves but always wish they could. For example, a spa gift certificate for a massage, a car-detailing gift certificate, a shopping service, or their favorite too-expensive restaurant. Either of these types of gift cards can mean a lot to a person and even help them keep a little extra money in their budget the following month or two.
3. Experiences – Things things things! We buy so many things that we can sometimes forget that what we remember most tends to be the experiences we have with each other, not the things we get from each other! Instead of buying someone that sweater they may or may not like, buy them tickets to a wine and design class, a local charity gala, a date night outing, the movies, white-water rafting, or a weekend getaway! The possibilities are endless! The people who receive the gift of experiences will more often remember the time they had with you instead of that thing you got them that one year.
4. Crafts & Baking– This one is also a physical gift but it’s usually the thought behind it that counts! Last year I went way out of my financial comfort zone and made my sister a memory book to fill with pictures for my niece’s first year. Was it high class and professional looking? No. Did my hands hurt after all that gluing and sticking? Yes. Did my sister cry when she received it? Also yes. Then she and my 3-month old niece made handprint ornaments that made me turn around and cry also. All the while, my Frenchie was ripping apart other presents on the floor because she heard one of them squeak! Oh yeah, and if baking is your thing, cookies are huge this time of year! As I type this, my left hand is still killing me after rolling over 100 sugar cookie truffles last night! Never again! Ouch.
5. Piggy Bank – This one is fun for kids. This can be part of the Give, Save, & Spend ritual that a lot of parents teach their kids. While teaching kids to save, be charitable, and have a little fun, a cute piggy bank is a great way to teach kids the value of saving money, all the while they’ll be able to enjoy the “clink” of change!
6. Cash – I have to throw this one out there, because the truth is, who doesn’t like a little cash?! I never shy away from a nice card with a few extra dollar bills in it.
These are just some of my extremely wise thoughts and unique gifts for you to give! It’s not even too late to get out there and do any of the six things on this list. Stay sassy ladies!