Majority of people across the world face this common question once or even several times a year: what’s the best gift you can give to children? Obviously, the answer primarily depends upon the age of the child that gets the gift.
We get all sorts of ideas from toys and puzzles to books or a dress. That’s because most of us never think outside the proverbial box. Instead, we try to find gift ideas that’re common.
Now let’s shift our focus slightly. What if we could give some gift that might prove useful to the child throughout the life? Understandably, there’re no such items unless you wish to gift some precious antique.
Therefore, one of the best thing that you can give children in 2021 is a financial gift. And that too without burning a hole in your pocket.
Why Financial Gifts in 2021?
You might wonder why I’m suggesting financial gifts for children in 2021. We’re well aware about shortage of money and other financial crises the Covid-19 pandemic had on people around the world.
As economies went into a nosedive, several businesses small and large, new and old had to close for good or declare bankruptcy.
This left countless people worldwide jobless with many struggling for survival.
UNICEF and other global organizations identify three groups as most vulnerable to any economic downturns and financial crises.
- Children below working age.
- Women and especially single moms dependent on just one income.
- Persons with disabilities.
- Senior citizens living off savings and pension plans.
- Women and men with no stable job or income.
Whether it’s easier for adults to overcome financial hardships is highly debatable and depends upon individual circumstances. However, children are most prone to any financial crises that strikes their families.
In such scenarios, a financial gift can help prepare a child to meet challenges that may arise in the future. Financial gifts also help children to learn a great deal about how to handle and manage money in the right way to get maximum benefit.
Therefore, I strongly recommend these top eight financial gifts to give to children in 2021.
Best Financial Gifts for Children in 2021
You can select the financial gift depending upon your location, age of the child and of course, your budget. In fact, some of these financial gifts might even cost you lesser than a toy or board-game, book or some other items.
Some of these ideas are from my personal experience as a parent of two. And I can happily testify that these gifts are indeed helping them till date.
1. Piggy Bank aka Coin Box
During a holiday in Europe, my little son took fancy to a dark blue, plastic Piggy Bank with the Euro symbol that was on sale at some store.
We bought him the Piggy Bank without as much realizing that it would actually embark him on a journey of savings. He would ask and collect Euro and Eurocent coins from us to drop in the Piggy Bank every evening.
A Piggy Bank is a coin box that’s shaped like the animal and is the most popular one in most parts of the world.
Upon return home from Europe, he opened the Piggy Bank. And to our amazement, the amount of Euros that he’d collected in the form of small coins was incredible.
That apart, the Piggy Bank actually encouraged our son to collect coins and save them up. And he would occasionally count the amount in his Piggy Bank. This took us to the second step of giving him a financial gift.
2. Open a Bank Account for Children
To help him create “space” in the Piggy Bank while encouraging the savings habit, we took the next obvious step: opening a bank account for children. Regardless whether a child owns a Piggy Bank or coin box or doesn’t, opening a kids bank account ranks as the second best financial gift you can give to children in 2021.
Majority of banks and credit unions have a special bank account for children. As parent, you can easily open one at a bank or credit union of choice. Check the interest rates and other features before you open an account for a child.
You can start off by depositing some money while opening the account. And encourage the child to save coins and notes to deposit in the account. Let them experience the thrill of their money growing and accumulating interest.
3. Buy a College Plan
There’s no greater investment in the world than investing on your child’s education. Therefore, buying an education plan. This would prove very useful when the child opts for higher studies. As cost of education continues to skyrocket, an increasing number of students and their parents take education loans.
While I’m not against college loans, a lot of students default on timely repayments. This invariably harms their credit score. Studies prove that college debt can set back a person’s life by as many as seven years. An education plan could help avoid taking a student loan and will prove to be a lifelong gift.
4. Prepaid Debit Card
A prepaid debit card is another superb financial gift you can give to children. It’s easy to get a prepaid debit card on your child’s name through a bank.
You’ll have to provide the child’s name, national ID number in some cases and a valid email and postal address. Lots of financial institutions also provide prepaid debit cards instantly upon application at their offices or branches.
However, in some cases, age restrictions might apply and the prepaid debit card would be available to children above 12-years age only. A prepaid debit card helps children to plan their spending and keep accounts. This is a valuable life skill that would prove handy even when the child attains adulthood.
5. Open a Children’s Investment Account
Nowadays, you can also open an investment account for children. Yes, I mean an actual investment account that allows you to teach them how to put money on the stock market, buy Exchange Traded Funds and Mutual Funds, trading on commodities and foreign currencies plus a lot more.
Such investment accounts will come under your custodianship. That means, while a child can view and decide where, when and what they want to invest upon, you will remain in charge of the account and any liabilities.
A custodial investment account is one of the best financial gifts for your child in 2021. It will teach them how stocks, commodities and money markets function and the vital lesson of making wealth grow.
6. Authorized Credit Card for Kids
Banks as well as credit card issuers have rather stringent rules when it comes to issuing credit cards. Hence, kids or teenagers can find it difficult to get a credit card on their own merit, unless they’ve a stable source of income from some work.
Now that might not always be possible. While credit cards are superb to build a healthy credit score, overspending or missing payments can do immense harm.
Therefore, teach your child how to use a credit card with caution and help build a superb credit score. Authorize your child to use your credit card.
This means, the bank or financial institution will issue a credit card to the child, without them actually holding one. Instead, it will be a supplementary card where you’re the main holder and have to bear all liabilities.
Keeping a check on your child’s card spending is important if you really want it to be a gift and avoid it from becoming a bane.
Open a Blog for Your Child
Open a blog for a child? You might assume this is a crazy gift idea or outlandish suggestion. Indeed not and I stand by my words. And for a good reason too.
Laws in civilized countries and democracies strictly forbid child labor or employment of kids below a specific age in various kinds of jobs. However, these rules do not apply to blogging.
That’s because blogging is generally seen as a hobby, is non-hazardous and can be easily done from home. Blogging helps you child give wings to their hobbies and knowledge.
And it also helps make money in various ways such as subscribing to Google AdSense, accepting sponsored posts and affiliate marketing. It helps the child build own brand that proves useful in adulthood. Over the years, the blog can become a superb money spinner.
Gift an Investment App
E-Trade, TD Ameritrade, Robinhood, Acorns and Fidelity are some superb investment apps that’re available for free on Google Play and Apple Store. There’re paid versions too.
These apps allow a child to start their investment journey with as little as $5. They can buy fractional stock meaning a small part of a full share of some company with small amounts. And when these fractions add up, your child will be holding a full valuable share.
They can also invest on currencies, commodities, ETFs, Mutual Funds and other financial instruments. You can encourage them to invest part of their pocket money or allowances through these apps.
American investor and billionaire, Warren Buffett began investing at the age of 11 years. And by end of 2020, his net worth stands at thumping $85.6 billion. Wouldn’t you like your child to also become a billionaire?
Of course, one of the best financial gifts that you could give children in 2021 is cash. But like every other child, the money would be spent quickly. Instead, these eight top financial gifts for children in 2021 will help them lifelong. They’ll learn savings, investment and also help in higher education.