Quick Idea for Christmas
Mom's and Dad's, Grandpa's and Grandma's...
You have a choice this year at christmas...
Take your money, buy a shiny new toy for your little Cherub. Your child will play with it for two weeks and then he/she will break it, stop playing with it, or lose it. I know this sounds pessimistic but I have a three year old daughter and I have some experience in this arena.
Open an education savings plan for your loved child. Go to the store and buy announcement cards for all of your relatives. In this card announce the creation of Little Timmy's Education Account. Ask everyone in your family and friends who would normally buy a gift for the child to instead consider sending a check made payable to the title of the account. If you have a family of 25 - 30, this could end up being a big deal. The first year I did this for my daughter I spent about $60 on postage and cards. I sent it out and I the gifts that came back totalled $1,485. For those of you without a calculator, that's a 2,475% return on my investment. My family felt included and good about themselves for giving my daughter an education instead of a plastic toy made in China. My wife and I got some heavy lifting help for college costs.
I took some of my daughter's old toys and re-wrapped them along with some new ones. She barely paid attention and instead played with the boxes and wrapping paper. I know that she isn't old enough to know the difference but when she is I will begin educating her on the differece between junk and valuable things. I share this idea with my clients and one in five implement it. They have more money saved for their children's lives than those who stick with toys and other things.
This is not a bah-humbug. This is merely a thought that has worked for me. I think you should buy things for your kids. I am not saying that. I am saying that give people an option and you might be surprised by the response.
Note: I am a financial advisor and I do not advertise myself or my firm due to regulatory concerns. Talk to an advisor near you if you have questions.