Judith McGee, Financial Adviser and Award-Winning Wealth Manager shared tips and insights on how to choose a thoughtful gift that people really need and want without breaking the bank.
Who Wants What?
Whether the recipient is in the Boomer, X or Y generation, their lifestyles, goals, and attitudes about money and material goods will differ along with the type of gifts they wish for. For example a Boomer (loves the finer things) might think their Gen Y grandkid, just married, could really use a blender. If they align with Gen Y values, also known as Millennials (19-31 years old), they are socially conscious, shop locally, and want experiences rather than accumulating material goods. A good gift might be a weekend trip to the beach rather than a dinner place setting.
Socially and Eco Conscious Family Members
Gen Y adults are super ecologically and socially conscious. As opposed to the Boomer generation, they scrutinize companies where they do business. Growing up cutting their teeth on social media and advertising, they see through the gloss, and read the fine print. Buying this group socially, natural, local and eco-friendly gifts that send a social message and helps others will make them your BFF.
Don’t Break the Bank
If you don’t want to suffer the rest of the year catching up on credit card debt, make a budget and stick to it. One partner in a relationship or marriage is usually more generous or more frugal with money, so don’t fall into the power struggle over the holidays with spending. Save throughout the year, with individual accounts. That way if you want to splurge on mom and dad, it comes out of your pocket, no questions and no fighting. Saving for next year will significantly lower credit card debt and temptations to splurge.
What to get your parents who “have everything?”
If your parents are boomers, they appreciate the finer things, and have accumulated their share of “things.” Asking what they would like, or need is better than guessing. Giving something that captures memories, or that gives them comfort is always a winner. Look for clues throughout the year. Maybe your boomer parents are retired and slowing down and always saying “We don’t see enough of you.” Include your Time in the gift. Take them somewhere that you will be participating in. Example: A train trip to Seattle.
Know the values and money attitudes of the recipient
If someone on your list is saving for a trip, helping in thoughtful ways to shave off daily expenses so they can meet their goal is always appreciated. Example: a pre-paid gas card, Starbucks gift card, gift certificate to a mall, and movie passes. They can still enjoy life while saving for that big trip.
What if you know what you really want to give but can’t afford it?
Pooling resources and giving that surprise gift from the group will be forever cherished and remembered. Sending mom and dad on a short cruise, a weekend away, or even a few months of housecleaning services are things that speak to the needs, and shows that the gift was well thought out.