Sweets, crackers, gold coins, and jewels are the items which come to our mind when we think about Diwali gifts. Let me unbundle some unusual gift ideas for this Diwali here.
Gift ideas for children:
1) Piggy bank:
This may not be a great idea. But can be done in a different fashion. That is you gift a piggy bank to a child with 90 one rupee coins. Set a target for the child to make it to Rs.100 in a month. This motivates the child to save Rs.10 extra to make it Rs.100. Like wise you can set a target for a year. Also announce some bonus when the child achieves a particular target. Say when it reaches Rs.1000 give the child a bonus of Rs.100. Idea is not only to gift the piggy bank and to encourage and motivate to save.
2) Savings account for kids:
Open a savings account for the gift. It gives a great feeling to the gift, when the kid gets a bank account in his/her own name. Whatever cash gifts, the kid gets for Diwali, Christmas, New Year, birthday and other special occasion can be deposited in this account. Whenever, the account balance crosses a particular limit say Rs.10000 or Rs.25000 can be withdrawn and invested in mutual funds or FDs in the kids name.
This creates awareness among the kid about savings and investments. You are laying strong foundation on personal finance management for your kid.
3) Board Games:
There is a board game known as Trade or Business. Game like this will be of very helpful to the kids in understanding the value of money, buying assets, spending less, saving more, investing and the like.
There are also so many online games like this. These games can teach the complete money management in fun-filled way.
4) Mutual Fund SIP:
You can start a mutual fund SIP in the name of the child. You contribute only for the first month installment and ask your kid to pay out of his or her pocket money for the subsequent installments. This way you will teach your kid about the stock market nuances also.
Gift ideas for the spouse:
1) Life style Assurance:
How your spouse will feel when you give a gift that assures the present lifestyle forever. You are here today earning and providing a lifestyle to your family. If you retire, can the same lifestyle be maintained? If any mishappening to you in between, can the same lifestyle be maintained by your family?
To protect the lifestyle of your family after your retirement, you need to do a detailed retirement plan. I am not advocating here about unit linked pension plan. No. I am talking about a comprehensive retirement plan.
To protect the lifestyle of your family from your premature death, take a pure term insurance plan. I am not talking about ULIPs here. Pure term insurance plan. Calculate in detail your human life value and then cover that amount of value with a term insurance policy.
Professional financial planners will be of assistance to you in drawing a retirement plan as well as finding your human life value.
2) Gold ETF:
If you are planning to gift gold coin to your spouse, think about gifting Gold ETFs. Easy to buy and sell. No need to safeguard.
Gift ideas for parents:
1) Monthly Income:
Your parents at the old age they need monthly income. Gift them an investment option which gives a monthly income to them. You can get monthly income by investing in FDs, POMIS, mutual fund MIPs and the like. Your parents may not be depending on you, but still then, this extra cash flow out of your investment gift will make them enjoy their life more at the old age.
Most of the insurance companies are ready to cover senior citizens with an extra premium or with a co-payment option. Co-payment is, when a claim comes the insurance company will pay some predetermined percentage of the claim and balance will be co-paid by the claimant.
Gifting the mediclaim policy for your parents will relive them from paying their hospital bills which are unavoidable things at the old age.
Gift ideas for servants:
Gifting a mediclaim policy to your maid servant is a good idea. They may not be thought about that and they could have thought that those things are costly. Along with the mediclaim policy, you can add accidental insurance for your driver.
It is really very difficult to find good servants these days. Even if you find one, it is really very difficult to retain them. If you pay the renewal premium on behalf of them every year, they will be very loyal to you. They will think twice, before quitting the job with you.
Gift ideas for friends:
You can choose to gift some good personal finance book for your friend or colleague. Instead of sending them e-cards, you can surprise them by emailing a personal finance article with your Diwali wishes. Even this article itself can be mailed to your near and dear instead of an e-greeting.
Gift ideas for others:
Instead of gifting money or gold, it is a good idea to gift bluechip company shares. Even a single share can be gifted. As it is a gift, people sentimentally will not sell them immediately and keep it for long term. A single share can grow with bonuses over a period of time.
Let us start surprising our loved ones this Diwali with these unusual gifts.
The author is Ramalingam K, an MBA (Finance) and Certified Financial Planner. He is the Founder and Director of Holistic Investment Planners (www.holisticinvestment.in) a firm that offers Financial Planning and Wealth Management. He can be reached at email@example.com.