Graduation time is right around the corner, and that means it’s time to start shopping for grad gifts. Money is always welcomed by graduating students, but how about gifts that help a young new grad better manage their money? Here are a few ideas for graduation gifts that will help them make good personal finance decisions.
Investment in the future
Open up an individual retirement account (IRA) for the new grad. Since most single grads make less than $181,000 in earned income, the odds are good that your grad will be eligible for a Roth IRA, which anyone can open on their behalf. Instead of giving them cash which they are likely to spend now, an investment in their future can provide a lifetime of benefits. They can also roll the money from the account into a 401(k) later in life when they are making the big bucks.
Some professional financial advice given early on can help a young person face their financial future with confidence. Treat your new grad to an appointment with a professional financial advisor, especially if they already have some investments, an inheritance or dividend-bearing account. A good financial advisor can help them understand their finances, assess their financial state, plan for the future, and help them make good decisions with all of that graduation money before it burns a hole in their pants.
Take a chunk out of their debt
Not many college students graduate without big debt in the form of student loans. If you are planning a large gift, or would like to do an ongoing gift, why not make one big or several recurring payments toward their student loans? High-interest or unsubsidized loans should be paid off first to avoid interest. Give your grad a hand by lowering their no doubt burgeoning student loan debt.
Let’s go shopping!
If your grad doesn’t already have a job lined up, having proper business attire for an interview is a must. If you’re shopping savvy, take them out and show them the ropes. If not, visit a store with personal shopping services together. If you don’t live nearby, a gift card to a retail store that sells strictly business attire is the next best thing.
A great first impression
With limited experience in business, it can be very difficult to build a resume that shines. A good resume professional can help polish the gems among the grad’s work, volunteer, and internship history and highlight their personal strengths. Shop around for a good resume service and set them up with a winning new resume.
If you’re not comfortable with selecting a professional, or your grad has great writing skills, take a look around at the great selection of books that explain the process of writing a great resume, and how to bring out the most alluring pieces of information about a job candidate.
It’s who you know
If you’re very well connected, one gift that costs nothing is to provide the new graduate in your life with a graduation gift that will pay off: your contacts. You can get creative with sharing your important networking contacts into a nice journal or Rolodex, but don’t forget a digital file to accompany it. Take the extra step and make introduction in person when possible, and you’ll be setting up your grad with both a ladder and a safety net.