Advertising
Advertising

8 Ideas for Your Teen’s Christmas Present

8 Ideas for Your Teen’s Christmas Present

Picking a Christmas gift for a teenager is a tricky task. Just a couple of years ago they would be smitten with a huge jar of candy drops and a new set of colored pencils. A surprise or a discovery were the main thrills of the present while they were kids.

Now your teen has a mile long wish list and it contains items they can brag about in Snapchat – like the newest gadget everyone talks about or a holiday tour in Europe. They surely know who brings them presents, but still, have only a vague concept of where the money comes from.

To bring back the magic you should really know what your child wants and dreams about deep down under the sheer desire to impress their friends. Look at what they are passionate about, and encourage this passion with your gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive to impress them, but it must be carefully chosen to show your support and recognition of their interests and appreciation of their individuality. This is the kind of present that creates warm memories!

1. For Avid Gamers

Video games are a favorite pastime for the vast majority of teens. Fact!

Advertising

However, some are more serious about it and might even have the ambition to become professional players in the future. Those having such aspirations will be excited about a new game console, a set of advanced controllers, or an accessory such as a mini rocking chair with a speaker for the immersive gaming experience.

They also might appreciate a themed artwork or collectible item, only make sure you get the right title and the right character to hit the nail on the head.

2. For Outdoorsy Teens

If your kid loves camping, hiking, sports or generally prefers spending their free time out in the open air, they’ll be excited to find a bicycle, a pair of rollerblades, a swagway board, a geocaching starter kit, or some cool camping equipment, such as a stove with USB-charger or something similar.

In fact, everything that combines technology with outdoor activities is a nominee for a successful gift. If your teen loves traveling, you can give them a scratch map to mark each journey.

Advertising

3. For Music Lovers

For those who cannot stand silence, there is a wide array of options from Star Wars headphones and wireless earbuds to Bluetooth waterproof speakers to sing along in the shower. However, you can dig deeper.

To encourage your child to take more active interest in music you can give them an instrument. Something as small and simple enough as a pocket guitar practice tool or a blues harp is a perfect start of a beautiful friendship with musical creativity.

4. For Beauty Aficionados

Jewelry stands and makeup palettes, colorful spray chalk for temporary hair dyeing (DIY style), a piece of piercing jewelry (accompanied with a salon gift card and your permission to use it, which probably is the actual present), a gift card for a mehndi courses – why not?

If your teen is passionate about beauty, style and fashion experiments, it can be a start of a designer career. Alternatively, they will just have hours of great time and oodles of fantastic pics for their Insta. Not so bad either way.

Advertising

5. For Romantic Souls

Something with a hidden meaning that says ‘I love and cherish you’, ‘I believe in you’ or ‘I trust you’ will touch their hearts. Romantic and impressionable teens will like personalized journals (with tiny padlocks and their name on it), artsy posters with inspirational quotes, paired pendants or key chains to share with the BFF, and stylish magnetic boards for their bedroom doors to keep concert tickets, snaps, cards and other mementos.

You can also try lucky charms with dry flowers that are in bloom on the day of your teen’s birthday or something equally personalized and metaphorical.

6. For Science Geeks

STEAM puzzles, a telescope, a microscope, a chemistry lab kit – whatever is to their liking. A tip: if you wonder whether a particular article is age-appropriate, take something for older kids. Anything that falls an inch short their expectations is instantly stigmatized as ‘lame’ and ‘for toddlers’.

If safety rules do not allow using some of the equipment below a certain age, it’s better to provide parental guidance and have some quality time together messing around with a ‘dangerous’ stuff than opting for something less sophisticated.

Advertising

7. For Art and Etsy Enthusiasts

Mini-looms, starter kits for string art, needle felting, scrapbooking, big art sets with watercolors, pastels, brushes and a book on drawing technics – everything that promotes creativity and self-expression also makes a perfect gift.

Besides, arts and crafts are very soothing activities, so it most certainly will help your teen to cope with anxieties.

8. For Those Into Old-School Stuff

Teens today also can be crazy about retro and vintage. For them, you can pick some antique books shelf holders (and a selection of books for that matter), retro instant cameras, and generally old-timey looking accessories such as record bowls, tape cassette boxes, mini-coolers for soda and snacks shaped like a streamline fridges.

To strike the right chord and see how their face lightens up instead of cringing with disappointment, do your homework. See if your teen likes one big present or a pile of trinkets, do they like to see their presents on the dressing table upon waking up or chase around the house finding the clues that lead them to the cache. Make a gift an experience!

Featured photo credit: Scott Hadfield/Flickr via flic.kr

More by this author

10 Must-Have Apps for Your Teen’s Smartphone 7 Helpful Apps For Parents of Special Needs Kids 10 Apps and Tools to Be More Productive at Work 8 Ideas for Your Teen’s Christmas Present Parenting apps Apps The Modern Parent Can’t Survive Without

Trending in Money

1 How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money 2 The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind 3 How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements? 4 The Definitive Guide to Get Out of Debt Fast (And Forever) 5 35 Real Ways to Actually Make Money Online

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 2, 2019

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

Advertising

How It Leads to Financial Improvement

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

Types of Personal Finance Software

When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

Advertising

Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

When to Use Personal Finance Software

So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

1. You Have Multiple Accounts

There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

Advertising

There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

Advertising

How to Get Started

From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

Final Thoughts

Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Read Next