Money isn't the only financially savvy gift for birthdays and graduations. These seven unique gift ideas will teach kids how to spend, save, invest, and budget wisely.
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Kids learn so much by watching and listening to their parents. But when it comes to money, discussions can sometimes be far and few between. Our kids see us swiping credit cards and using Apple Pay without understanding the bigger picture of finances.

Getting your children involved in their own money management can start with a simple gift, which can teach invaluable lessons about how money works, investing, saving, debt, and budgeting. Whether it's your child's birthday or they're heading off to college, these seven financial gift ideas will benefit your child now and later.

Parents Teaching Kids How to Save Money with Coins in Jar
Credit: Wong Yu Liang/Shutterstock

1. Stock

Investing in the stock market can be both exciting and confusing for adults, let alone children, and starting early can help them understand the ins and outs. Stocks can be selected based on your child's interests—whether it's Disney, Nintendo, or Mattel—to really get their attention. Note that minors are not able to own stock, but as their parent, you can open a custodial brokerage account when they're younger than 18 years old.

Because stocks can be pretty expensive, you can start with fractional share investing, or purchasing partial shares of your kid's favorite company's stocks. Some programs will allow you to buy as little as $5 worth of shares. You could also give kids a gift card through Stockpile.com so they can buy their own shares. "Stockpile's supervised accounts allow kids to buy and sell the stocks they choose, with a grown-up's approval, of course," according to the website.

2. College Tuition

Give the gift of college funds! 529 plans have been an old standby for family members looking to give children an easy way to pay for college. In 2022, the IRS allows up to $16,000 to be deposited into a 529 plan without any gift or estate tax complications. Parents can also tie their 529 plan with a Ugift Program, where applicable, to allow friends and family members to contribute easily online for birthday, holiday, or graduation gifts.

3. Money-Themed Board Game

Does your gift recipient love board games? If so, give them one that deals with money-related concepts in a fun way. Some examples include Cover Your Assets (which teaches the value of different assets, strategies for building wealth, and more) and the classic Monopoly (which teaches concepts like real estate and investing). Check out more financial board game options here.

4. Roth IRA Contribution

Once your child begins to work, they may not consider the benefits of funding, and they might not have enough money to invest in their retirement or savings accounts. But anyone who is earning income—even children—is able to contribute to a Roth IRA, and they can begin building a tax-free savings account at a young age.

Consider helping your child set up the Roth IRA account as part of their financial gift. Then you can make a direct contribution that will benefit them down the road. Some parents choose to match their child's contributions to the Roth IRA account instead.

5. Piggy Bank or Money Jar

There are few things more fun for children than finding loose money around the house. A traditional piggy bank is a personal gift that teaches young kids to keep those dollars and coins—though you probably have to explain the benefits of saving over spending!

For older kids, consider challenging them to a $5 saving challenge. Essentially, whenever they get a $5 bill, they put it into their container that you give them. They must wait until the end of the year to spend the contents.

6. Cryptocurrency

Did you know bitcoin can be gifted using Cash App? If your child is tech savvy, they may be interested in learning about and seeing the growth of cryptocurrency. You can give them a bitcoin gift in the app, then help them open an account using an appropriate program with secure storage. Children ages 13 to 17 will need a guardian sponsor to manage their cryptocurrency.

7. Financial Books for Kids

Books are always a great gift idea for children.Try choosing a financial book, which will let them read at their leisure while learning money concepts. A few books for children of different ages include: