This Christmas will take place against the backdrop of global economic and political turmoil, and a severely cash-strapped consumer base. Here are our top eight gift ideas this festive season:
- Children’s education toys
- Digital logbook
- Budget organiser
- Online trading account
There is a huge range of children’s educational toys relating to money. Depending on your budget, you can consider toys such as an abacus, money counter, cash register or piggy bank. Another great idea is to make Save, Spend and Share money jars for your child. Shops such as MerryPak provide an excellent range of jars, tins and containers that are well-suited for this DIY project. This gift is an ideal way to teach children the all-important money lessons of saving for the long-term, spending on what is necessary and giving a portion of one’s pocket money to charity.
For gadget lovers, a digital travel logbook allows you to record your work-related journeys for tax purposes. Takealot offers a number of these devices including the iTrace SARS LogBook which works with GPS functionality that retails at R999, as well as the Little Logbook Electronic SARS GPS for R1 148 and the Journey Organizer Electronic SARS GPS Logbook with Bluetooth R999.
If there’s someone in your life that needs help organising their finances, there are some great budgeting and money organiser options available. All large bookstores stock budget planner books that allow you to record your expenditure and keep tabs on your bills. Amazon sells an array of wallets which contain special folders and dividers to help users separate their money into different spending categories. Wantitall.co.za offers magnetic cash budgeting envelopes that are ideal for organising money into different categories and this retails for around R880. Dave Ramsey’s Executive Envelope System, also perfect for those using the envelope system of budgeting, retails for around R350.
For those who are interested in investing, setting up an online trading account is a great option. There are a host of excellent online trading platforms available with varying levels of minimum deposit requirements. Most platforms offer online tutorials and workshops, as well as demo sites that you can practice on before going live. Some platforms worth considering are:
- IG: This online trading platform requires a minimum deposit of $1 and provides users with a wide range of products such as commodities, indices and stocks.
- Cyber-FX: This platform requires a minimum deposit of about R1 400 to get started and allows users to trade in precious metals, cryptocurrencies and indices, amongst other things.
- HotForex: HotForex offers a wide range of instruments with a minimum deposit of $5
- FXCM: For a minimum deposit of $50, this platform offers online foreign exchange trading and related services.
- Standard Online Share Trading: As an award-winning company, this platform makes investing in a broader range of financial instruments easy for their users with no minimum deposit.
- Forex Time: With a minimum deposit of $10, traders have access to over 240 tradeable instruments.
On a side note, if you have teenagers with a keen interest in investing the JSE Investment Challenge provides a risk-free, online platform that teaches kids how to trade JSE-listed shares. Children can learn how to make informed decisions, spot trends and understand the world of investing. They can also compete against their friends and qualify to win prizes. More information can be found here.
An excellent gift for a grandchild is to open a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) for them which can be earmarked for their future education. TFSAs are free of all taxes on investment returns and are excellent vehicles to demonstrate to children how compound interest works over time. The website www.savetaxfree.co.za is a great source of information regarding these investment vehicles.
A great way to develop a healthy savings mentality is to encourage children to save towards something that they really want. If your child is saving towards a new surfboard, for instance, a great idea would be to gift them with a hand-made voucher for 50% of the cost of the surfboard. The voucher promises that, once they have managed to save up 50% of the cost of the surfboard, you will gift them the balance. This voucher creates a great incentive for saving and working towards a medium-term goal.
Helping a university student with the costs associated with their degree or course is another great gifting idea. Find out exactly what their degree or diploma requires of them, for instance, a medical student may need a stethoscope, or a Physiotherapy student may require a lab coat. Art supplies for those studying art are particularly expensive, so make an effort to find out their needs. Other ideas include calculators, maths sets, back-packs and data vouchers.
A fun way of learning about money while bringing family and friends together is to buy an age-appropriate board game. Depending on your budget and the age of the child, you could consider one of the following excellent games:
- Buy It Right shopping game (age 6 and up): This game requires children to utilise maths skill, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and decimals and allows children to get hands-on experience using coins, paper money and a calculator. This game is available on Amazon for around R420.
- Pay Day: Each player earns a paycheque and is required to pay bills, buy property and manage their monthly expenses. It is available on Takealot for around R440 and is suitable for children age 8 and over.
- Thrive Time for Teens: This game allows teenagers to earn income, start investing and set up a business, and also allows them to set up a balance sheet and track their income and expenditure. The game can be purchased on Amazon for around R780 and is perfect for teenagers age 13 and up.
- Act your Wage: This game, which is perfect for children age 10 and above, was developed by Dave Ramsey and teaches children about debt and how to get out of it. It can be bought via Amazon for around R330.
- The Stock Exchange Game: The second edition has just been released on Amazon for R621.34 and is ideal for players age 10 up to adult.
- Managing my Allowance: Suitable for children age 8 and up, this game teaches children how to manage their pocket money and make money decisions. It costs around R370 on Amazon.
- Cashflow 101: Also created by Dave Ramsey, this game teaches players how to take charge of their personal finances, understand cash flow principles and make investment and property decisions. Suitable for players age 14 and up, it can be bought on Amazon for around R1 300.
- Monopoly Ultimate Banking Edition: This excellent game for all-round money management can be bought from Takealot for around R550 and is ideal for players age 6 and up.
- The Game of Life: Available from Amazon around R210, this game allows children to accumulate net worth while choosing paths that simulate real-life choices. It is ideal for children age 8 and over.
- Exact Change: This game teaches children money management and maths skills and is available from Amazon for around R140. It is suitable for players age 5 and older.
Personal finance books make fantastic gifts and there is an endless number to choose from. Some of the most popular books aimed at money management, improving personal finances, investing and growing your wealth include the following books, and include some local authors:
- Become your own Financial Advisor by Warren Ingram
- How to invest like Warren Buffett by Alec Hogg
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiosaki
- You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero
- Manage your money like a f**king grown up by Sam Beckbessinger
- The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
- Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez
- Why didn’t they teach me this in school by Cary Siegel
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George. S. Clason
- All the Money in the World by Laura Vanderkam
It is believed that children as young as three can grasp financial concepts such as saving and spending, and that money habits can be formed as early as age seven. Children are never too young to start learning about money, where it comes from, how to count it, how to save and manage it. Here are some fabulous children’s books about money:
- The Coin Counting Book by Rozanne Williams (age 4 and up)
- Sheep in a Shop by Nancy. E. Shaw (age 3 and up)
- Arthur’s Pet Business by Marc Brown (age 3 and up)
- Money by Joe Cribb (age 8 – 12)
- The Money We’ll Save by Brock Cole (age 4 – 9)
- Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins & G. Brian Karas (age 3 – 7)
- One Cent, Two Cent, Old Cent, New Cent by Bonnie Worth (age 4 – 6)
- A Chair for My Mother by Vera. B. Williams (age 4 – 8)
- Money Madness by David. A. Adler (age 4 – 8)
- Follow the Money! By Loreen Leedy (age 5 and up)