last minute gift ideas

Sometimes, the holidays have a way of sneaking up on you. Before you know it, you’re wracking your brain for last-minute gift ideas — and all you can come up with is a gift card, an envelope of cash, or the infamous IOU. This year skip the gift certificates, cards, and cash, and get creative with these smart and thoughtful finance-related presents for all the people in your life.

Gift Idea for Young Kids

Nieces and nephews, your best friend’s little ones, or grandkids — buying meaningful gifts for toddlers or little children can be tough. While their interests may change by the day, one gift will not get old: money invested in their future. Whether you make a deposit to their 529 college savings account, Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA), or a general savings account, you can be sure your gift will make a difference long beyond this holiday season.

Gift Idea for Teens

While super young kiddos (and their parents) may be happy with (or blissfully unaware of) money gifted to their college funds, older children and teens may be interested in a more tangible monetary present. That’s where gifting through a custodial account or a savings product, like a Certificate of Deposit (CD), can come in handy. With these gifts, the recipient can learn about the power of investing or accruing interest (either simple or compound interest), and will ultimately enjoy reaping the potential extra savings when the time comes to cash out.

Gift Idea for Recent Grads

Unless the recent grad in your life was a finance major, he or she could be new to managing their money. Jokes aside — consider gifting this person an appointment with a financial advisor, if it could benefit their current financial situation. It could be a useful and unique opportunity for them to learn about investing, think through a budget plan, or discuss long-term savings so they can enter adulthood on their best financial foot.

Gift Idea for Your Boss

It can be tricky to buy presents for your boss. You want to be respectful and show you’ve put thought into it — without going overboard. Instead of scouring the web looking for deals on appropriate presents, one idea is to pick a cause that’s important to them and donate to a related charity in their name. It’s easy, quick, and you can do this online — making it a perfect present for procrastinators.

Gift Idea for Your Friend With a Side Hustle

If you have a friend who’s building their own small business or working on turning their online shop into an empire, give them the gift of paying to get their taxes done for the 2020 calendar year. Taxes can get especially complex when you’re working for yourself or managing multiple streams of income, so paying a professional to do them is a meaningful way to take some stress off someone’s plate.

Gift Idea for Siblings

Long gone are the days of stealing change from each other’s piggy banks. Now it’s all about helping your siblings succeed. This holiday, gift your sib a paid subscription to a personal finance app, such as You Need a Budget (YNAB) or EveryDollar. Premium apps like these connect with your financial accounts to help you budget, pay off debt, and save money with a variety of tools, tips, and guidance.

Gift Idea for Your Significant Other

Whether you invest as a team or navigate the stock market separately, give your loved one a special stock to invest in this year. It could be a company they’re passionate about or a security they’ve been eyeing for a while. If you have a joint investment account, which is an option through Ally Invest, easily invest in the security for them. And if not, you might give them the cash — along with a (pretend) old-school stock certificate — they can use to invest in the stock themselves.

Gift Idea for Your Neighbor

Sharing home cooked meals with neighbors is a traditional way to spread holiday cheer with those around you. But this year, upgrade this classic gift and consider gifting a meal kit service instead. A variety of subscription meal kit services let you send gift cards that the recipients can use to assemble kits that fit their individual preference. This way, you can lighten someone’s grocery bill, knock a visit to the store off their to-do list, and provide them a few cozy meals to enjoy at their leisure. Plus, since it’s so convenient, you can spread the neighborly sentiment to friends and family far and wide. Alternatively, you could also think about giving someone a gift card to their favorite restaurant.

A Little Extra Thought Goes a Long Way

Sure, most people enjoy receiving cash or a gift card. But when it comes to a present your friends and family will remember, something that eases their monetary burdens or sets them up for a more successful financial future is bound to be truly appreciated. So the next time you’re doing some last-minute gifting, stay within your holiday budget and give one of these out-of-the-box ideas a try.

Bonus Tip: Among all the giving, don’t forget to gift yourself as well.

An Ally Bank Online Savings Account, that’s built to help you save even smarter, is a gift that will help improve your finances and will always bring you value.

Learn more.