8 Last-Minute Gift Ideas That Make Money Fun

Still got a few names on your list?  

It’s holiday season! Lights, candles, and of course, gifts to brighten the faces of loved ones.

But if you’re struggling with your shopping list, you’re probably in good company. Finding the perfect present is hard. You want to give something that gets an immediate reaction, but you want it to be meaningful, too.

How about the gift of financial literacy?

We’ve compiled a list of the highest-rated financial literacy gifts — from books to toys. There’s something for all ages, so this giving season, inspire financial wellness in the ones you love.

Check it out! 

No. 1: Grandpa Beck’s Cover Your Assets card game

Cost: $15

Ages: Eight years and up

What it teaches: a card game on the basics of investing and asset management

Cover Your Assets is a fast-paced, competitive investment game that is sure to create a riotous experience at family gatherings.

The goal of the game is to amass a fortune by collecting matching pairs of asset cards and building a tower. Players must do so without having their top stack stolen by competitors. If it is stolen, the stack increases in value and becomes a more valuable target with each subsequent steal. The only way to protect your assets is by continuing to build a larger tower.

No. 2: Learn & Climb play money set

Cost: $16

Ages: Three years and up

What it teaches: an interactive toy on how to use and manage money

Want to teach kids about money without risking real money? 

Opt for this realistic-looking play money set to teach kids about U.S. dollar bills, coins, credit and debit cards, and checkbooks. Use it to teach children about financial responsibility and how rewarding it can be for them to handle money on their own. Kids can interact with the money like it has value, without the risk of losing or damaging real dollar bills.

It’s a great standalone gift for endless financial games and activities; you can also pair it with a toy cash register and grocery store set. 

No. 3: How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000

Cost: $12

Ages: 10 to 14 years

What it teaches: a book on the money basics, including earning, saving, spending, and investing

The creators of Bill Nye the Science Guy and Biz Kid$ have done it again with this comprehensive guide for kids covering money basics. 

This humorous book engages young readers with illustrations to simplify complicated financial topics. It covers good decision-making, how to use money responsibly, and the foundations of financial literacy. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who wants to raise financially savvy kids by starting them on the right path early.

No. 4: Payday board game, 1975 edition

Cost: $16

Ages: Seven years and up

What it teaches: a board game about income and expenses

Since 1975, the Payday board game has been a beloved favorite of families everywhere. Before you know it, players will be wondering where all the money goes in this game that mimics real life. 

This game allows players to collect salaries and pay bills in the hopes of building a fortune. A lucky few may win the lottery, but others risk losing it all. At the end of the game, the player with the most assets, including cash and savings, wins.

No. 5: Moonjar Moneybox bank

Cost: $18

Ages: Three months and up

What it teaches: a financial tool on the three “S’s,” including spending, saving, and sharing

The Moonjar moneybox bank is a multiple award winner, due to its popularity as a thoughtful and timeless financial starter gift. Created as a tool for children to practice practical money management skills daily, the Moonjar works at home and in the classroom. 

The durable tin box updates the classic piggy bank by including three separate compartments to teach children about the three “S’s” of financial literacy: spending, saving, and sharing. In a way, it mimics the envelope system for budgeting.

Children who receive an allowance or other income source will be tasked with deciding how to move their money around in the jar before depositing or withdrawing. They can choose to save for a goal, spend when appropriate, or share with a sibling or charity. Older children will also love this financial tool, and can practice more advanced math skills, such as calculating a percentage to allocate to each compartment.

No. 6: What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence by Stephen A. Schwarzman

Cost: $18

Ages: Adults

What it teaches: a memoir on building and leading a thriving company

This memoir written by Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone chairman, CEO, and co-founder, shows readers how to create and lead an organization. It’s powerful, entertaining, and educational.

The lessons gleaned from Schwarzman’s advice are applicable to all types of people — from students to executives. Anyone interested in maximizing their potential will find these mantras and their associated stories insightful, including, “Don’t lose money.” His lessons encourage readers to assess their ambition, opportunities, and desire for success while on a path to excellence. 

No. 7: Financial Peace Junior kit by Dave Ramsey

Cost: $17

Ages: Three to 12 years

What it teaches: a book and activity set on the money basics, including earning, saving, spending, and giving

Give the gift of financial literacy with a thoughtful tool and resource kit to teach kids how to succeed with money! Financial Peace Junior is the children’s version of Dave Ramsey’s popular financial program for adults. It will teach kids all about money with simplified, age-appropriate lessons.

The kit includes games and toys to integrate into the financial lessons with step-by-step instructions for parents. Kids will love tracking their progress on the dry erase boards, and there are plenty of activities and chore suggestions to keep the lessons interesting. 

No. 8: Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

Cost: $15

Ages: Adults

What it teaches: a memoir on achieving personal and professional goals

Ray Dalio has been called the “Steve Jobs of investing” and the “philosopher king of the financial universe.” In his memoir Principles, he shares the principles that he developed during the course of his long and successful career.

In 1975, Dalio founded investment firm Bridgewater Associates, and 40 years later, it is now the fifth most important private company in the country, according to Fortune

The book details Dalio’s rules for success that cover life, economics, investing, and management. The strategies can be applied to a company, but also to our personal lives in order to succeed in both life and business.

Other recommendations

While games, toys, and books can be fun, they may not be appropriate for everyone on your shopping list. Here are some other gift-giving ideas that don’t necessarily come in a box.

Employee Benefits

An employee’s financial life is tied to their workplace, through paychecks and benefits, so it makes sense for an employer to reinvest in their dedicated workforce in a meaningful and impactful way this holiday. Employers interested in giving back should consider a financial wellness benefit.

“Many employers are bringing on financial wellness as an employee benefit, which brings the gift of financial confidence to employees of all ages and demographics,” said Brin Chartier of LearnLux. “Workplace financial wellness programs can help alleviate financial stress, which is the number one cause of stress in the workplace. [It also can] encourage employees to hit their biggest goals like paying down student loans, raising their credit scores, saving to buy a house, funding their children’s education, and being able to comfortably retire on time. Is there any greater gift?”

Apps

The best last-minute gifts are instant, so pay for an app that your loved one can download instantly. There are several highly-rated digital games and tools to make finances easier, but consider this investment-themed game with the chance of winning big.

“A BLUECHXP+ subscription is a great financial literacy gift,” said Eddie Bozesky of the BLUECHXP app. “Users master the stock market through experiential education masked as a game. Once they level up to PRO, they are able to withdraw $500 to take what they’ve learned to the real markets and kick off a lifetime of investing.”

Bottom Line

Holidays are a time to show loved ones you care. What better way to do it than with the gift of financial literacy?

Contributors

Eddie BozeskyEddie Bozesky runs operations and growth at BLUECHXP. Led by founder and former professional trader, Michael Patak (TopstepTrader), the BLUECHXP team is on a mission to empower people with the ability and confidence to successfully engage with the financial markets.
Brin ChartierBrin Chartier is director of marketing at LearnLux, a leading provider of financial wellness for the modern workplace that blends digital tools and education with guidance from independent Financial Advisors. Chartier is passionate about branding, community building, and the work her company is doing to help employees feel so financially secure they forget it’s payday.

What are your financial literacy-themed gift recommendations? Share with us on Twitter @OppUniversity.

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