First Person: We’re Making Our Holiday Gifts Financial Educators

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We've decided that it's time to start our five-year-old's financial education in full. This means that we've started doing things like talking to him regularly about a variety of personal finance topics. We take him along with us when we go to places like the bank or the grocery store so that he can see how we make certain financial transactions and decisions. And this year, we've decided to make some of his holiday gifts financial educators as well.

Pay Day board game

Pay Day was one of the board games that I didn't have as a kid. This didn't stop me from buying it for our children though. I thought that getting the feel for what it's like to receive money and then have to make decisions on how to spend that money based on somewhat real world scenarios would be a great way to start our kids off on the right foot when it comes to financial responsibility. While I know it's just a game, I think that games can be instrumental in giving kids a touch of what their adult life will one day be like and what types of situations they'll be dealing with.

The Game of Life board game

Buying our son The Game of Life board game was another gift idea that we had in hopes of bolstering his early financial education. While he might still be a bit young, he's a pretty bright little fella, so we don't feel there's anything wrong with getting an early start in this area. The sooner he can understand how things like having kids can affect family finances, how insurance is used, the effects of debt, and the way the stock market and investments can affect our future and retirement plans, the better I hope he can enter his adult years with some level-headed financial sense about him.

Ounce Silver Coins

However, it's about more than just teaching our kids about finance when it comes to holiday gifts. We also want to start bolstering the start they're able to get when they have to start undertaking their own financial lives.

I thought that a good way to combine both education and a little financial planning for our kids' futures would be to make a trip to the local coin shop. Our son was super excited about this little adventure and got to experience the cool things the coin shop had to offer like all sorts of rare coins and paper money, a huge safe, a gun-toting owner, and self-operated revolving display-case racks.

It was here that we bought each of our children a one-ounce silver coin for them to hold onto for the future. We hope that this not only furthers their interest in money and personal finances but acts as a small investment (especially if we do this each year moving forward) in their future finances.

Dr.'s Kit and Bag

Buying our son a toy doctor's kit isn't necessarily a financial gift per se, but if he becomes a doctor, big paychecks will certainly become a part of his life. He has expressed an interest the medical field and we will therefore support him. And if a holiday gift might in some way further a career in which he is hopefully financially stable, we will try to provide it for him. At a cost of just $14.99, it wasn't an overly excessive price to pay to help him pursue his interest.

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The author is not a licensed financial or parenting professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or parenting advice. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader's discretion.


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