It may feel too soon to think about holiday shopping, but with potential supply chain issues, retailers are pushing it earlier than ever. It can be advantageous to get a head start on your shopping to get the best deals and avoid delays, but how about considering some alternative ideas this year that have the potential to give back. Here are some financial themed gift ideas for kids of all ages:

  1. Donation to a charitable cause. Is there something in your local community close to your child or your family’s heart? Donate to a charitable cause in your child’s name. This is a great way to create a connection with your community and create an opportunity to talk you’re your kids about what it means to give back.
  2. Something to start a business. If your child is a budding entrepreneur? Maybe they are a talented jewelry designer or baker. Give them tools or supplies to get their micro business off the ground. This is a great way to give them opportunities to earn and save money. They can even donate a percentage of proceeds to their charitable cause.
  3. Piggy bank. Piggy banks may seem old fashioned for today’s youth, but they serve as a great way to teach younger kids about saving. One system I like to use with my kids is the “50-40-10” rule.  For each allowance or birthday dollar received, save 50%, spend 40% and donate 10%. You can use the piggy bank to hold the “save” or open a savings account and put the “spend” money in the piggy bank for easy access. There are also piggy banks that have separate slots for spend, save and donate!
  4. A contribution to a savings plan. Parents, grandparents, friends can contribute to your child’s future and take control of big costs for something down the road like college, a wedding or a down payment on a home. Starting to save early for these things can be very advantageous due to the time value of money and strategies being able to have tax deferred growth options.
  5. Meeting with a financial planner. This is great idea for college age kids or new graduates who are hard to buy for. It’s a gift of financial education that can set the stage for decision making around their financial future.
  6. Life insurance. This may not seem like the most exciting gift for a child but it is one that can protect their family down the road and accumulate cash value. Purchasing life insurance for your child now can protect their future insurability and lock them in at a very low premium. With a whole life insurance policy, you can build up the cash value over time. That means your child will be able to use the accumulated cash value for things like paying their premium, taking out a loan or making a down payment on a car or first home.

Kids are never too young to start learning about finances. Fundamental skills like budgeting and saving are not so different from the values we already try to teach our kids, such as self-control, patience, and delaying gratification to achieve a larger goal. These gift ideas have the potential to give back beyond the holidays and are a great way to start a valuable conversation with your kids.

Life insurance policies issued by COUNTRY Life Insurance Company® and COUNTRY Investors Life Assurance Company®, Bloomington, IL.