There comes a point in life when you just want money for a holiday. And even if you still wouldn’t mind receiving some product or other wrapped up in pretty paper, you can bet that someone on your Christmas list wants cash. Giving money can be nice, but rather uncreative, so if you want to give the gift of finances this holiday season, here are three ideas that will be big hits with your loved ones.
- Stocks/Bonds. Bonds are a great gift to give someone very young. While they won’t necessarily understand it at the time, these bonds can increase in value quite a lot. Government bonds often mature over years or even decades. They can be a great gift for a child, to pay for college or the down payment of a house (or smaller goals). Stocks are another great tool. Buying stocks from a huge company that is sure to be around in the distant future can be another good long term gift, as can mutual funds or index funds. Another clever idea is to buy stock for a person in a company they personally value, like Apple or Krispy Kreme. Whatever you decide, this is a great way to give someone money that’s meant for their future benefit, not just to be blown right after Christmas.
- Nothing is more boring than insurance, unless it’s a gift for someone who is used to paying for it. A few months of free car insurance is a great gift for a college student. Paying for someone’s PPI claim is a great gift for a victim of payment protection insurance fraud. Health insurance coverage is a great gift for someone who lives in a state that has not expanded Medicaid, resulting in much higher premiums for their residents. Pet insurance for dog lovers, dental insurance for people with teeth, optical insurance for people with glasses – there are lots of options.
- Gift Certificates. We’ve all received gift certificates for retailers and restaurants. Kind of boring, right? Well that’s because you just haven’t found a cool enough place to buy a gift certificate. It’s time to think about experiences and more interesting kinds of physical goods. Buy a gift certificate for a trip to a zip line adventure place, a favorite museum, tickets to a favorite sports team’s home game, a pair of shoes at Zappos, a generous dinner at Ruth’s Chris. There are lots of options beyond the usual Starbucks and Best Buy. Get creative!
Giving the gift of money is never not appreciated, but a stocking full of cash isn’t the most creative way to do it. If you want to give your loved one something of value that they can use to buy something for themselves, there are lots of ways to do it beyond cash or check. Try out these methods and you’ll have a lot of happy faces this holiday season. These are sure to be a hit, so we hope you and your like them.
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