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 afterward 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.
Great Gifts That Keep on Giving
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.
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.
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 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 be on their mind a lot longer than giving them a digital camera.
Or you can find a more creative way to make a photo gift memorable and heartwarming. A customized blanket with a photo on it will be a great option. Such a gift will not only be useful for the person you’re giving a gift to but also will be an everyday reminder of the beautiful mutual memories you have.
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.
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 or AAA, 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.
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.
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 doorbuster 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.
Beware of Buying Gifts that Cost the Receiver Money
Here is a contrarian word of caution. There are some gifts that you will give to others with the best intentions, but those gifts can have a long-term cost associated with them. Buying someone a dog is a great, thoughtful gift. But, it will cost the receiver a lot of money throughout the years a long time after you give the gift.
Buying a new car is also a great and generous gift. But, what happens when the first time you drive the car it breaks down and needs expensive repairs? The receiver of that amazing gift will have to come up with money from somewhere.
While what you are thinking about might be a great gift in the short term, think about what could happen after you give the gift. What’s the long-term cost associated with what you are giving?
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!