Let’s admit it. Many kids are being raised without understanding the value of saving and spending wisely. And even fewer children are being taught the concepts of entrepreneurship and wealth accumulation. Instead of buying children a lot of toys that they will cease playing with a few days after Christmas, consider giving the following as holiday gifts to the children in your life that will go a long way to teach them to be financially savvy or that will start to help them generate wealth.
1. Financial Books. There are a wealth of financial books out there for kids. More and more parents are starting to realize that they must start earlier if they want to raise financially savvy kids. As such, there are a plethora of financial books available for kids. Two of my favorite are What Color Is Your Piggy Bank?: Entrepreneurial Ideas for Self-Starting Kids (Millennium Generation Series) (Millennium Generation Series)
by Adelia Cellini Linecker, for kids 10-14 contemplating entrepreneurship, and covering the world of jobs, starting a business and managing money, and The Berenstain Bears' Trouble with Money (First Time Books(R)) by Stan and Jan Berenstain for 4-7 year olds. Costs: What Color is Your Piggy Bank $14 and Berenstain Bears $4.
2. Piggy Banks. The evolution of piggy banks over the last several years has been remarkable. Take the Money Mama & The Three Little Pigs bank. A four chambered bank with separate compartments for spending, investing, saving and donating. Also consider the Moonjar, a bank with three compartments: one for saving, spending and giving. The bank comes with a passbook for recording transactions. Both banks cost between $25 and $30.
3. Board games. Let’s face it. Kids love toys. This year instead of giving them video games or noneducational toys, consider giving board games like Cashflow for Kids and Monopoly, both of which teach kids about the principles of money, cashflow, and entrepreneurship. Costs: $15-$40.
4. Open a savings account. Every child, if possible, should have a savings account. This is a real life, hands on way to teach kids about money and financial principles. It’s also a way to teach children about the concept of compound interest, keeping track of money and visiting financial institutions. ING DIRECT is running great deals right now if you open an online savings account. ING DIRECT - High Yield Savings with the Orange Savings Account.. You can also investigate opening a savings account with your local bank or credit union.
5. Purchase savings bonds/stocks. This year give something that will increase rather than decrease in value like savings bonds and stocks. These are gifts that will last children well into the future. Savings bonds can be purchased through your job and deducted from your pay. Check with your payroll department or you can buy them direct from Treasury Direct. You can also begin investing in stocks for as little as $4 via sites like Sharebuilder.com.