8 Perfect Christmas Gifts Ideas about Finance & Investing
Let me guess: you also believe that gifts can be a beautiful thing but are often useless and unproductive. Maybe you want to convert a friend of yours to the love for finance, or maybe you want to save a relative of yours that is a bit loose on spending. Well, if you want to buy something for your dear ones that is going to help them financially, let me give you 8 christmas gift ideas about finance and investing. Spread the love for finance and investing with these nice gift ideas!
Oh and by the way one of them will be a really nice Google Spreadsheet that I created for you and that of course I’ll make available to you for free.
1. A Finance & Investing Book
I had to mention this, because come on, books are an evergreen present. One way to learn is from your own experiences, but another way is from other people’s experiences. And giving a good book about finance as a present is like giving 2 decades of experience of the author all enclosed within a couple hundred pages. I mean, this is wonderful, if you think about it.
Still, some people know a lot about finance, some people less. So let me give you 4 ideas based on the person you are giving it to:
If you are giving the book to a person that knows absolutely nothing about finance, you need to take it easy – you’re never going to force finance into their head. So for this case I’d suggest a motivating read like the book Money, Master the game by Tony Robbins. Great book, written by a coach and motivator so rest assured that even non-regular readers are going to enjoy this book without ever feeling bored.
If the person is not so finance-averse, there are two other books that are absolutely incredible, pleasant and everybody should read:
- Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill – which I swear, is going to change their way of thinking about money and success for good;
- The psychology of money, by Morgan Housel.
Last book, but only if the person is into investing and also likes heavy reads, is the book called The intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham.
2. Piggy Bank
This is more of a gift for kids or teenagers, but if you think about it, the sooner a person learns about personal finance, the better. So there is no better point in life to start than when you are a kid.
I know that some of you will think that a piggy bank is a trivial gift but you can’t imagine how good you are going to do to the kid and for their future with this simple gift. And if you think that saving is not a problem that many people have, it’s nice to know that as of 2022, 42% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.
The idea of putting some money aside for the future is so powerful but also so underestimated, that we often think it’s not even necessary to teach it to kids. Only then we end up with an army of 20 year olds who compete for who has the biggest credit card debt.
Yes, you’ve heard right, and before saying that I’m going crazy, check this out.
I took the time to read into the last report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and in 2021 the average American household spent $3030 dining out. And if you check 2019 it was even higher than this.
Now if this doesn’t sound much to you, consider that 3000$ per year makes $45,000 of savings gone within 15 years and that according to the data available, the median savings balance of Americans under 35 is just $3,240.
So if the average American is able to save so little by the age of 35, you start realizing that 45,000$ are not actually so bad. And you want to know what’s crazy? If by the age of 20 instead of just saving these 250$ per month you would invest them in the american market, say in the S&P500 index, with an average yearly return of 10% you would have not 45, but over $100,000 by the age of 35. And this only by avoiding dining out.
For this reason, if you have a friend who spends lots of money dining out, buy them a really good Cookbook with a card that says “This is how you’ll make your first $100,000”.
This is also mainly a gift idea for kids but, I don’t know about you, I still love playing this game.
I always say “Life is like playing Monopoly”, with one important difference: When playing the game, everyone knows you have to invest and buy assets if you want to become wealthy and win the game. However, in real life most people just move around the board and wait to be passing the “Go” sign to get the 200$ paycheck — literally, most people live paycheck to paycheck. The lesson is: In real life, like in the game, if you fail to start investing, you will most likely lose.
A great game, it teaches you to use strategy, the value of assets, the importance of keeping cash on hand and the concept of delayed gratification.
5. Warm clothes for indoors
Now, I know this may sound like a joke, but it’s not. The world faces a tough winter, and energy prices are going to see the highest increase of the last 20 years.
According to Marketwatch.com, Americans who heat their homes with natural gas can expect to pay $931 this winter, up 28% from last winter, while those whose homes are heated by heating oil are going to spend an average of $2,354, up 27% from last winter.
So I’m not saying that people shouldn’t turn the heating on, but wearing really warm clothes in winter can make any family save potentially thousands of dollars every year.
And think about it, who isn’t happy to receive a nice, warm Christmas sweater or even better, a fleece blanket with sleeves for watching netflix on the sofa?
6. Investment Account for your kids’ future.
Yes, even if right now you still don’t have any children. This is a long term gift, so don’t skip this part only because you don’t have kids now.
Imagine, in the future, at some point, your kid will be 18, will come to you and say: dad, I want to become a doctor. And imagine how beautiful it’d be, if instead of getting a heart attack you are going to hand them a beautiful check with a note that says “your college is paid for, son”…
And I know, you don’t need a degree to become wealthy, and yes, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and many more were college dropouts, but we can’t ignore the fact that entrepreneurship is not for everybody or that maybe your child just wants to become a lawyer or an engineer. So as you know, college is extremely expensive: tuition, room and board, Books and supplies, meal plans, transportation, it adds up to an incredible sum.
To give you a quick overview, according to valuepenguin.com the total cost for a four-year college goes from $25,290 for public in-state colleges to $50,900 for private ones. Considering interests on the loan the average projected loan balance over 4 years can even reach a total of $107,520.
Consider saving money for your kids, even if right now you don’t have any. And instead of letting your savings be destroyed by inflation every year, consider investing them in something solid, constantly, every month.
For example, 200$ every month invested in the S&P500, assuming an average growth of 10%, which has been the case in the last 100 years, will give you 18 years later a total of around $120,000 with only €43,000 invested.
Now number 7 is a Family Budget Tracker that I created for you and you can get it for free here. The best thing that a person can do to start being more aware of their finances is using an expense tracker like this.
You just need to click on file and then on “Make a copy”. This way you’ll have a copy for you and you can edit it as you wish.
Let me show you how it works. It’s really easy. You’ve got 4 tabs and basically the only thing you need to remember is that you only insert values in the white cells.
The first tab gives you an overview of your expenses. You can set here how much percentage of your income you want to use for essentials, for wants and savings and the tool will automatically give you tips based on your choices. And here you can also see an overview of your income and expenses, with graphs and yearly results.
The next tab is called Income and here you simply enter your starting balance as well as your monthly income. You are free to change the names and insert all the incomes that you have.
The third tab is the most important and here is where you enter your expenses. Whenever you spend money on something, you can simply write the date, the amount, choose category and subcategory and the tool will automatically summarize all your expenses in the next tab, where you’ll be able to see how much you spend per month in every category and subcategory.
8. Subscribing to my Youtube Channel
But now let’s go to the last gift idea, which is knowledge. And what’s the best way to learn about finance, if not learning from somebody that already made the mistakes for you? So if you enjoyed this post you can talk to a friend about my channel if you want, and you’ll make a double gift, one to me for which I’m extremely grateful, and one to your friend that hopefully will find some value in my videos and learn from my mistakes.