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Give the gift of financial advice

Teaching kids and adults about personal finance doesn't have to be boring or dull.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 14, 2012 11:49AM

This post comes from Rob Berger at partner blog The Dough Roller.

 

The Dough Roller logoWith the holidays approaching, it seems we're all in a mad dash to our favorite retailers. Between figuring out what to buy for those on our list, to buying the gifts and then wrapping them, there's no time to enjoy the season. 

 

Image: Counting coins (© JGI/Getty Images/Getty Images)On top of that, how many gifts will we buy that end up at the bottom of a closet, only to be found when a recipient appears on an episode of "Hoarders"?

 

Instead of maxing out credit cards this holiday season, why not give a different kind of gift? I have in mind the gift of financial advice. Here are five ways to give it in a way that your friends and family just may enjoy.

 

Company stock

A single share of stock in a company is an ideal gift for young children. While they may not fully appreciate the gift immediately, over time they will. Had you bought a single share of Apple 15 years ago, a $1 investment would be worth more than $500 today. What a great way to teach a teenager about the value of long-term investing.

 

A game

One of my favorite games is called The Settlers of Catan. It's a strategy game that's easy to learn and fun to play. It requires players to formulate strategies, make investments, and take risks. It's a great way to teach children about business and life, without letting on that they are actually learning something.

 

A book

While you have to be a bit careful here, you probably have some friends and family members who could benefit from certain personal finance books. We all know somebody struggling to get out of credit card debt or save more for retirement. Two books I highly recommend are Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" and Ramit Sethi's "I Will Teach You to Be Rich." Both are excellent books that can really help folks get back on the road to financial freedom.

An hour

Some folks just need help getting their finances organized. Whether it's helping them prepare a monthly budget, organizing their financial papers, or perhaps developing a strategy to get out of credit card debt, an hour of your time may go a long way. We have friends who have helped a lot of people get their finances on track, and we've helped friends with their tax returns from time to time. Sometimes, all folks really need is a helping hand.

 

A savings account

For young children and teenagers, one of the best gifts is to help them set up a savings account at an online bank. These accounts make it easy to save and pay higher interest rates than traditional banks. But the best benefit is that children can watch as their money grows. As a result, they can see firsthand the benefits of saving.

 

The above are just a few ideas. If you know of other ways to give financial advice as a gift this holiday season, please share your ideas in the comments below.

 

More on The Dough Roller and MSN Money:

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