Why You Need to Start a Holiday Gift Savings Fund Right NowA recent National Retail Foundation survey found that the average American will spend around $460 on gifts for family members this year, and a lot of this money will probably go towards gift cards or even cash. However, only 27% of Americans would prefer receiving a gift card instead of an actual gift. So, why not spice up your gift-giving this holiday season with something the recipient will truly love?

Financial gifts (such as cash, stocks, and charitable donations) are unlikely to fall out of favor any time soon, particularly with children and teens. Unless you plan on giving away more than $14,000 worth of gifts this holiday season, you likely won’t have to deal with any gift tax issues, especially if your monetary gifts are intended to help someone pay for tuition and/or medical expenses, which are excluded from the tax.

The average American will spend around $460 on gifts for family members this year.Click To Tweet

How to Spice Up Financial Gifts this Holiday Season

To perfect your holiday gift-giving this year, check out some of these ways to spruce up your monetary gifts:

Stock & Toy Package

 If your kids are obsessed with Marvel superheroes, Blizzard games, or virtual reality technologies, then instead of just giving them a gift from their favorite franchise or gaming company, why not couple that “fun” toy with stock ownership?

If they’re under 18 years old, they probably won’t appreciate it as much for the time being. But, they’ll be much more grateful in the future when the toy wears out and they still have a stock that’s accruing value.

Once you research a few different companies that show promise for future stock growth, you can purchase stocks on a site like Give a Share and include a gift certificate in their present.

Santa Scavenger Hunt

If you want to give your kids cash, why not make a game out of it instead of just slipping it in a card? Whether they’re younger kids who love scavenger hunts or teens who love escape rooms, there are plenty of creative ways to send them on a journey around the house to find the jackpot.

Pinterest is a great place to brainstorm scavenger hunt clues, and you can adopt any theme you want, based on your favorite holiday traditions and characters. You might even want to leave small financial rewards along the way to the big treasure for added excitement.

On Christmas morning, with your clues (or Santa’s clues) set up around the house, a scavenger hunt will be much more fun than sitting around opening presents would be. This is particularly useful for families that might be struggling financially this holiday season and can only afford smaller, inexpensive gifts, because each clue can come with a quarter and lead up to a bigger prize of your choosing.

Chocolate Box with Cash

The problem with cash gifts is that they’re so predictable. The chocolate box full of cash idea from the Life as Mom blog offers a unique twist on gift-giving. All you need is paper candy liners, a candy box – use an old See’s box or buy one from a craft store – and a mix of coins and dollar bills of varying amounts.

Place a couple coins or a bill in each candy liner until the box is full. And, wait for the look on the recipient’s face when they open a box that they assumed would have chocolate in it!
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Top 3 Home Business Opportunities To Boost Your IncomeAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 53 million American workers (one in three) now earn money from freelance jobs. Many individuals like working as freelancers because they get to create their own schedules and earn extra money.

Companies also have several good reasons for hiring a freelancer over employees. If you don’t use freelancers already, you should think about these four ways that hiring freelancers can save your company money.

Hiring a Freelancer Saves Your Company Money

You Spend Less Money on Real Estate and Equipment

Every employee who works in your office takes up several feet of space. The fewer people you hire, the less money you have to spend on office and work spaces.

By using freelancers, you also get to avoid the expense of buying equipment for more employees. After you consider the costs of computers, telephones, desks, and chairs, it becomes obvious that you can save thousands of dollars by using a freelancer instead of hiring a new employee.

You Avoid the Expense of Training Employees

Training new employees takes a large investment. In 2015, large companies spent an average $12.9 million on training. Small companies spent about $350,300, and midsize companies spent about $1.4 million.

One of the great things about hiring a freelancer is that he or she already has the skills that you need. Instead of spending money on training, you get to hand over a project to an expert who knows how to do the job well. In other words, you could shave thousands of dollars from your budget while getting higher-quality work. [click to continue…]


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The following is a guest post on Money Q&A by Andrew Rombach, who manages the scholarship website, scholarshipfly.com. Would you like to write the next one? If you would like to write an article for Money Q&A, please visit our Guest Posting Guidelines page. You are spending too much money on your college education. Unless you’re the world’s thriftiest […]

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