smart spending

5 money gift ideas for the holidays

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Invest in financial teaching tools

Teaching kids about saving can play an important role in how they manage money as an adult, says Robert Richardson, former online marketing manager at Nevada State Bank in Las Vegas.

For children under the age of 5, keep it simple; use a piggy bank for their money gift. For older kids, consider taking them to the bank to open a savings account. Kids often get a thrill tracking their account online, Richardson says. Board games like Thrive Time for Teens are designed to teach teenagers how to face life and money decisions.

Kids can learn even from the gift of cash, says Ornella Grosz, author of "Moneylicious: A Financial Clue for Generation Y." Have the child put 20 to 50 percent of the amount given into a savings account, she says. "It doesn't have to be elaborate. A piggy bank, savings account -- even a box or jar will work. The point is to understand the value of money," Grosz says.

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