Nine Gifts You Can Give That Will Keep On Giving

by Hank Coleman

Do you have unwanted gift cards this holiday season?It is one thing to give a gift to our loved ones, but it is an entirely different thing to continue to show how much you care about someone with a gift that keeps on giving. We often joke about the gifts that keep on costing us money.

My father-in-law bought my mother-in-law a new cell phone last year upgrading her to a smartphone finally. It was a great idea until he realized afterwards that the price of her cell phone plan would significantly increase. It was a gift that kept on costing him despite his good intentions initially.

A wonderful gift is one that continues to add enjoyment to our loved ones’ lives long after we have given that gift. Here are a few cool gift ideas that keep on giving enjoyment long after the wrapping paper has come off.

Gifts That Will Keep On Giving

Savings Account: Opening a savings account for someone is a great gift because everyone needs or wants to save money for something. You can either open a savings account at a big bank branch, a local credit union, or through a virtual bank like ING Direct. Many accounts can be opened with a simple deposit of $25, which can get the recipient one step closer to meeting their personal goal. Earn a $50 bonus when you open an Electric Orange? checking account from ING DIRECT. Free ATMs and no overdraft fees.

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Classes: Education never stops giving. When you learn something, you can retain it for as long as you like. Paying for someone to take classes is a gift not just for current students, but anyone who loves to learn. The courses do not have to be formal; they can be a community class or a class that takes place in a studio. Some subjects that would be great for long-term enjoyment include cooking, foreign language, fitness, and art.

Charity Donation: In some cases, there’s just no need to give someone a gift, especially if they have everything they could possibly want or need. Instead, a charity donation would be a great idea. If the person you’re shopping for is really passionate about a cause or organization, make a donation in their name.

Remember that you don’t need to part with a large sum of money to give to a charity. Many organizations will accept  donations in the form of personal possessions and even vehicles. Making an RV or sponsored boat donation can help out a  plethora of great causes. Not only will you be able to clear up some space in the garage by making a vehicle donation, but  you’ll also be able to show a friend or loved one that you care by helping out a charity that they are interested in.

Pictures: Pictures are not just worth 1,000 words, but they are also priceless in the form of gifts. They do not have to be new pictures that you just take. Some of the best and most memorable gifts are pictures from the past, that bring back great memories. Find an old picture of yourself and the person you’re giving a gift to, and put it in a nice frame. That gift will still in their mind a lot longer than giving them a digital camera.

A Good Book: Similar to taking a class, a good book can give you insurmountable knowledge. From a literary classic to a new memoir, gifting a good book can never go wrong. Depending on the reader’s preferred style, you can either get a hard copy, or even add an eReader to the shopping list. I love to give copies of Dave Ramsey’s book, “The Total Money Makeover” to everyone I know. Do you want a free book too? Be sure to check out how Money Q&A gives away free books to readers.

Memberships: The great thing about memberships is that they provide a gift for the duration of the term. For example, if you buy someone a membership to Costco, they can shop and receive deals on items all year long. A membership with Netflix will be great for movie lovers, and a membership to have meals delivered to someone’s door is great for a busy family.

Experiences: An experience truly doesn’t have a price tag, even if you do pay for admission. It can be a trip out of the country, or even a visit to a local place. Experiences are gifts that keep giving because the memories last forever. A first-time visit to an amusement park for a child or the chance to see a favorite musician live in concert for an adult are great ideas for experiences.

For a spouse, maybe a romantic trip for a few days. I love spending money on doing things rather than acquiring things. It makes the memory that much better. That’s why most of my 100 goals to do before I die are mostly experiences.

An Engagement Ring: As cliche as it might sound, asking someone to spend the rest of their lives with you is a gift that will forever be remembered. Proposing to your significant other can also count as an experience, but let’s be honest: diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Find a beautiful engagement ring to wow your future fiance this holiday season, and it will be a holiday she’ll never forget.

Your Time: The best gift you can give this season is one that you can’t put a price on: your time. Take some time out to spend with someone you love, or offer your time to a complete stranger in need. Your time will be remembered longer than any stocking stuffer or door buster you’ll find in stores.

Honorable Mention – A Dog Or Other Pet: My wife and I recently bought a purebred dog for our children after much consternation. It turned out to be a great purchase while continuing to cost over time, the purebred puppy has continued to bring joy to the family.

It is a wonderful thing to be able to give a gift to someone you care about that continues to keep on giving and add enjoyment to their lives for many years to come after we have given that gift to them.

Are there other gifts that should be on this list that keep on giving? What do you love to give your loved ones? Please leave your own tips in the comment section. I’d really like to hear them. Thanks!

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Email him directly at Hank[at]

Hank Coleman has written 581 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Money Beagle

I’m always on the fence about giving a pet. It’s a big responsibility and often the decision is made with only the thought of seeing the ‘happiness’ and not thinking of all the work and the costs you’re giving to that person. I was dating a girl in 2000 and right before I met her, had to put one of my cats down, and when I told her the story, she took it upon her self to get me a kitten for my birthday present that day. We broke up later that year, but the cat stayed with me along with the monthly bills for his special food and medicine. Don’t get me wrong, I love that cat unconditionally and he’s part of my family, but I’m sure there are some out there who would have lost interest in the cat when the relationship ended.


John S @ Frugal Rules

Good ideas! We’re big on giving experiences. Those memories that can be created can mean much more than just some thing. We try and do this with our kids a lot. They get spoiled by their grandparents, so we hold back a lot of what we budget for the Holidays and Birthdays and use for things they love to do.


Anne @ Unique Gifter

Excellent suggestions! I love giving the experience based gifts, like the classes and passes and such. Especially to kids, so that they create more great memories.



“Time” should be first on this list.



A good follow up to experiences: I once gave a picture book about a trip we took together. That gift has helped the experience live on and is still something my wife treasures.


Scott @Youthful Investor

I am always grateful of gifts but most grateful of books. Great books or books that seek to teach skills that the person receiving the gift is trying to learn or passionate about are definitely winners. Plus we look at our screens most of our days now, why not crack open a book?

A membership is a great idea for a gift that keeps giving. For example I go to a local gym but only have access to certain hours of the day. A full membership would definitely be greatly appreciated. Or what about a gift card to a spa or massage therapist? This is a great gift that promotes health and is something we are less likely to buy on our own but still thoroughly enjoy.


The College Investor

That’s an awesome list, and I plan to use some of those this Christmas. I’m a fan of experiences, since I can pretty much buy anything else I want. I’d rather spend time with people instead of just getting something.


Christopher @ This that and the MBA

Great Suggestions. This year my wife and I decided to buy christmas gifts for 3 children in need. It will be very rewarding to see the kids faces after we give them the gifts. That is one thing I cannot wait to do!


Amy @ JobCred CV Builder

Brilliant gift ideas. I agree most about the class learning idea. Contributing for the enhancement of other’s interests and skills sounds really cool.


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