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Five Gifts for a Brighter Financial Future

Last week I offered up 53 free or inexpensive gift ideas, but if you have a little bit more to spend on a few special people in your life, consider giving gifts that encourage saving or financial literacy.

A SmartyPig Gift Card or ContributionSmartyPig is an FDIC-insured high yield online savings bank with a twist: members save specifically for goals, which they can choose to make public. Friends and family members can also make a contribution to a SmartyPig member’s goal, or buy them a savings gift card to get started.

Nuru Personal Finance Deck – A great little stocking stuffer for just $10, the Nuru Personal Finance Deck is about the size of a deck of playing cards. Each card features an easily digestible big of financial knowledge on topics including investing, credit, and insurance. Small, portable, and easy-to-read, the Nuru Personal Finance Deck is the painless way to learn about personal finance.

Treasury Savings Bond – For as little as $25, you can buy somebody a U.S. Treasury savings bond. Savings bonds are a great way to instill the importance of saving and give a gift that will help secure somebody’s future. Savings bonds earn interest for up to 30 years, but can be redeemed at any time. Purchase savings bonds online, or at most banks.

Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover – I don’t agree with a lot of what most “mainstream” personal finance gurus preach, but in a sea of personal finance books, I do think Ramsey’s bestseller is a good bet. Check out the book here: The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.

One Share of Stock – Stock makes a great gift because it can be purchases in almost any amount (one share or many) and has unlimited potential to grow for the recipient. For anybody looking for a more tangible gift, a Web site called One Share allows you to buy single shares of stock and receive the paper stock certificate (in an optional frame). For larger stock gifts, you’ll need to purchase the stocks yourself and speak with your broker about gifting them to the recipient.

Published or updated on November 26, 2008

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About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.


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