Stuffing cash in an envelope — or tucking it in a box of chocolates like my Dad used to do — can be a pretty great gift in many households.
Here are six on-the-money gifts:
If you want savings bonds, Series EE savings bonds issued from November 2015 through April 2016 will earn a fixed rate of 0.10 percent — so they’re not all that exciting.
Series I savings bonds issued during that time earn a composite rate of 1.64 percent for the first six months after the issue date — and a portion of that is indexed to inflation every six months. See www.treasurydirect.gov for how to buy savings bonds as gifts online.
Ever think about five gold rings? You could dish out roughly $750 for five gold rings, according to the 2015 PNC Christmas Gift Index. The price for a simple, no-fuss gold wedding band is about flat from last year, according to PNC. (Granted, you could pay $700 or more for just one attractively designed man’s gold wedding band.)
How about a little financial drama? Pick up a gift card to a movie theater for the new financial thriller “The Big Short” or maybe even wrap up the Michael Lewis book of the same name along with a gift card.
The Michael Lewis book — published in March 2010 — is a riveting read on the subprime mortgage crisis and clearly walks the reader through such cumbersome topics as collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps.
Give someone a little financial wiggle room. Ever think of paying someone’s electric bill for a month? Or maybe buying them a week’s worth of groceries?
Or maybe pick up the cost of a chore — such as a month of maid service or lawn service.
Wrap up a tiny piece of Wall Street. This holiday season, it is easier to buy just a small part of a share of stock in Apple, Nike and other popular companies.
A $50 gift card for Apple stock, of course, won’t enable anyone to buy one share of Apple, which has been trading around $118 a share.
Gather your own change to buy a gift card. If you’ve got $25 or $50 in spare change sitting around the house — and many people do have that or more — you could consider visiting a CoinStar location to convert the change into a gift card for Starbucks or Amazon.com or Toys R Us. If you buy for a gift card, you do not pay a fee.