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He also suggests funding a 529 college savings plan and giving a young adult a subscription to Kiplinger’s or Money magazines.
Eleanor Blayney, consumer advocate, CFP Board of Standards • Instead of clothes or gadgets, how about picking up the fee for a session with a personal financial planner? For a young adult or couple, it’s a chance to sit down with a professional to tackle debt, budgeting and other financial topics, said Blayney of the Certified Financial Planner Board in Washington, D.C.
Suggestions from parents, grandparents and the pros
Buy DVDs/books such as “Money Mammals” or The Berenstain Bears’ “Trouble with Money”
Open a Roth IRA account for kids
Forgive part of a loan to a loved one
Buy U.S. savings bonds
Pick up the fee for a session with a personal financial planner
Contribute to a 529 college savings plan
"Spending an hour or two with a financial planner can help them set some priorities . and get them off on the right financial footing," said Blayney, who estimated hourly rates at $150 to $250.
For her kids and grandkids, once they turn 12, she slips checks or cash into envelopes. "At that point, they enjoy the fun of shopping for themselves," said Quinn.
Quinn says handing over a large amount of cash - such as for a future house down payment - is risky, since there’s no guarantee it won’t get spent on something frivolous. Instead, keep the funds in your own account and "tell the grandchild you’re ready to help with X amount of dollars when the time comes."
Karyn Hodgens, financial educator • For young kids, "The Money Mammals," a DVD/ book that teaches kids about saving money; "Saving Money is Fun," a musical CD; and "Share & Save & Spend Smart" banking kit.
Books — The Berenstain Bears’ "Trouble with Money" and "Mad, Mad, Mad Toy Craze." Other favorites are "Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday" by Judith Viorst or "The Monster Money Book" by Loreen Leedy.
Games — Monopoly Junior and The Allowance Game.
For middle-schoolers — "Not Your Parents’ Money Book" by parent and author Jean Chatzky; The Game of Life board game.
For parents — "Raising Money Smart Kids" by Kiplinger personal finance editor Janet Bodnar or "Raised for Richness," Hodgens’ own book on teaching good money habits to kids ages 6 to 16.
For stocks — Hodgens recommends kid-friendly funds such as the Monetta Young Investor Fund and using discount brokers such as ShareBuilder.com.
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