Graduation season is just a few short months away, with only a semester to go for most seniors. Give your new grad a financial head start. Instead of a trip or a car, consider graduation gift ideas that will start your new grad off with the right attitude about managing their money. Here are some suggestions:
Give gift subscriptions to business and financial magazines
Gift subscriptions to business and financial magazines will teach new grads about handling money, fan the flames of entrepreneurial thinking, and inspire them with career and business role models and strategies. Of course, I recommend that at least one of those subscriptions be Black Enterprise, which can be delivered as a printed magazine or digitally to a computer or mobile device. Best of all, this is a gift that will not bust your budget; you can easily get multiyear subscriptions to several magazines for under $100.
Make a dent in their debt
If you’re really serious about giving your new grad a financial head start, how about offering to make a lump sum payment on her college loan?
Another option: give her a clean slate by offering to wipe out her credit card debt, along with scheduling meetings with a credit counselor so she can learn how to keep that slate clean. Make any loan payments conditional upon her attending these meetings. You can find free or low-cost certified credit counseling services in your area with the help of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at DebtAdvice.org.
Give books about money, investing, entrepreneurship and wealth
Great money books to start with include The One-Week Budget by Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche and The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires by Dr. Dennis Kimbro.
Encourage new grads to commit to their own financial literacy by reading at least one book about money a month. Helping them to make a habit of ongoing self-education about money will not only provide a financial head start, it will keep them ahead of the game.
Pay for an initial consultation with a certified financial planner
A consultation with a financial planner is a great gift that will introduce the importance of seeking qualified professionals to help achieve financial and life goals in adulthood. This is especially helpful to those starting new jobs after graduation, and who need help understanding job benefits and why it’s so important to start saving for retirement now, not later.
The point is to help young people get off on the right path with their finances. Giving them a financial head start could be the most valuable graduation gift they get, one that will continue to pay dividends for years to come.
Black Enterprise Executive Editor-At-Large Alfred Edmond Jr. is an award-winning business and financial journalist, media executive, entrepreneurship expert, personal growth/relationships coach, and co-founder of Grown Zone, a multimedia initiative focused on personal growth and healthy decision-making. This blog is dedicated to his thoughts about money, entrepreneurship, leadership and mentorship. Follow him on Twitter at @AlfredEdmondJr.