The holiday shopping season is in full swing! One gift that pretty much everyone on your list is guaranteed to appreciate is money. But if you want to put in more effort than just stuffing a couple of bills in a card, I have some ideas to help you jazz up your money gifts this year.
Here are my top picks for money gifts that your friends and family will love:
Money Gifts for the Kids
An experience: Kids notoriously get a bunch of stuff during the holidays, and that stuff typically just becomes clutter. This year, try paying for an experience for the kids in your life instead. Great options include yearly passes to the local zoo or museum, movie theater tickets or even a family vacation.
A 529 Plan contribution: No, your five-year-old is not going to jump up and down with delight when she hears you added a little extra to her college savings. But if your kids get bogged down with gifts from other family members, consider going a little lighter on toys and add a portion of your budget to a 529 plan. That money will grow over time and will do a lot more good down the line.
Make a charitable donation: Kids will love “adopting” a wild animal from an organization like the World Wildlife Foundation. You can purchase a stuffed animal or poster of their favorite animal, and contribute to protecting wildlife around the world.
For Your Friends and Family
Pay for an experience: Kids aren’t the only ones who will love this gift. Instead of items, offer to take your friend out for a nice dinner, pay for concert tickets for you and your spouse, book a pedicure for you and your niece, give the new parents gift cards for their favorite restaurants…you get the idea. It’s a great way to treat the people you love to something they wouldn’t normally do for themselves, or just to catch up and spend time together.
Gift subscriptions or services: This could be everything from streaming services and online newspaper subscriptions to services like house cleaning, spa visits and meal delivery services. These can be thoughtful gifts for college kids and people just starting out, busy families and even just the person who has everything.
For the Community
Look locally: There’s nothing wrong with donating to large or well-known charities. But for the specific needs in your community, look to local shelters and groups. They will often have opportunities to purchase meals or gifts for families during the holidays that will directly benefit people in your area.
Give holiday “bonuses” to show your appreciation: It might be a bigger tip than usual at your favorite restaurant, extra money for your babysitter or a gift card for your mail delivery person. Treat the people who make your life easier this holiday season.
Need more gift ideas? Here are my gift guides from previous years:
About Your Richest Life
At Your Richest Life, Katie Brewer, CFP®, believes financial resources and fee-only financial planning should be accessible. For more information on the services offered, contact Katie today.