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IRA Financial Group Blog

Holiday Money

3 Minute Read

What are some good ways to teach kids what to do with their holiday money?

Key Points
  • There are dozens of holidays in December
  • Many cultures give money as gifts
  • Teaching children about money young can lead to lifelong habits

Winter Holidays

Many cultures around the world have winter holidays, full of light to combat the darkness coming, full of joy of family and friends. Often, people who celebrate these holidays especially find hope in children during this time of year, with kids writing letters to Santa, or receiving gifts from the adults in the family. It’s a time to focus on all we have, all we can give, and being together, even in a pandemic year where holiday celebrations will likely look quite different. Zoom calls and FaceTime will probably be high on the list of ways we gather this holiday season, as people stay home to keep themselves and everyone safe.

From Kwanzaa to Hanukkah to Christmas to Yule, the idea of giving gifts has a long history. One traditional method of giving money is in the form of cash, often tucked into a card or envelope. But there are lots of ways to provide a chance at a better financial future to those you care about, besides just cash, although there are creative ways to do that, too. From putting foldable bills into clear tree ornaments to folding them onto a money tree, cash is almost always a welcome gift.

Best Options Beyond Cash

So what’s the best way to offer something besides cash, while still giving a gift they’ll appreciate? If your recipient is learning about money and doesn’t have much of a background because they’re still a child, try coordinating with parents or guardians to make sure you’re reinforcing lessons that are being taught at home. For kids who don’t get an allowance, making a cash gift that will disappear into the bank to reappear at some later point may not be the message you want to send.

Charity Donations

Does the family you’re gifting to practice donating to charity? You can make a donation to the cause of their choice in lieu of direct holiday money – adopt a wild animal, provide a microloan, or send a gift of a milk goat to a refugee camp. There are a lot of ways to help the world while giving to someone you care about. If you don’t want to make a donation your sole present for someone, you can provide financial support in addition to the donation made to their favorite charity.

Savings Account

If a person doesn’t have a savings account, it could be beneficial for one to get started. Again, coordinate with responsible parents or guardians and set one up that maybe they haven’t had the time for yet. Help someone you love move beyond the piggy bank stage and get a firm foundation for their financial future. They can learn to make regular deposits, split their money between savings and charity or spending, and other good financial habits.

Stocks And Bonds

Traditional investments can be greatly appreciated as holiday gifts. Socially-responsible investing especially can help reinforce the ideals a recipient champions. If someone has a Solo 401(k) or other form of investments, you can see if they would like a share of stock in a company they champion. Alternatively, they can invest their holiday money in whatever they see fit.

Holiday Money

As always, it’s important to remember that the spirit behind the gift is truly what matters this holiday season. Whatever holiday you’re celebrating, or if you’re not celebrating anything at all this year, best wishes to you.

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