It has gone too far, way too far, and I’m certain many parents will agree with me. Everyone buys my kids presents for Christmas and their birthdays, and I’m truly grateful – don’t get me wrong – but my family is wasting their money. That’s because everyone is buying them toys that end up broken and thrown away in less than 2 weeks, some in less than 2 days. I am determined to change their ways, and persuade them to use the money that they’re wasting on toys and put it towards the kids’ future. I’m not sure why the culture has changed so much in so few years, as my grandparents were sticklers about buying us all savings bonds for Christmas and Birthdays. I was able to pay for my student exchange program in high-school which cost several thousand dollars (which I loved and will never forget) and traveled and spent over a month in Costa Rica and was able to see and live in another culture broadening my personal makeup. I would have never been able to do that if my grandparents had purchased toys for me instead. Not to mention, I had a portion of the money left over to help out while at college.
Below, I will give you various reasons to help you help persuade your family members to not buy your kids toys (or you crappy sweaters), rather put that money into purchasing investments that will help the kids well on down the road. If they must buy toys, I will provide a list of toys that will be beneficial to the kids futurre. Below that list, I will provide you with the resources to purchase t-bills or bonds for your kids online, directly through the US government.
The Best reasons for not buying kids (all) toys for holidays and birthdays:
- Most of the toys made are plain crap. If the kids don’t break them on their own, they lose pieces that make the toy worthless and unusable after only a day in most cases.
- Most toys’ safety has been called in to question. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a freak about lead paint or the likes – but it does concern me. With the young kids sticking everything they can in their mouths, I like to think we’re being as safe as possible, but it’s difficult when most product recalls only happen after someone is injured or killed.
- In 2005 in the U.S., 20 children under 15 years of age died in incidents associated with toys, and an estimated 202,300 children under 15 were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with toys, according to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.
- Toys that are bought for the older kids are inevitably unsafe for the younger kids.
- Most of the toys bought discourage the kids from being active (especially video games). These toys encourage the kids to be lazy and unproductive. Not to mention, they encourage the parents to push the kids off.
- How many Hot Wheels does a kid need? I swear my 4 year old has hundreds of them. I encourage other children who come play at my house to take some with them when they go home.
- We don’t have the room for the toys. Yeah, the race tracks are useless because we can’t possibly keep them up when they take up 10 square feet. Not to mention, they take half an hour to assemble and 30 seconds to pull apart. Please, don’t put us through this pain in the ass.
- Swords and guns: The kids beat the hell out of each other and we take them away anyway. Please, don’t even think about it.
- Are you really into supporting China through purchasing all their crap? Come on, Communist China? We need to support our own.
- They don’t even have to go to the store if they quit buying the toys.
Now, some grandparents and family members won’t listen to you for shit. You can simply take these toys and re-gift them for all your kids’ friends. You can replace their re-gifted gift with an deposit to their savings account or buy them a bond or such. If all else fails, encourage your family members to buy your kids the following gifts instead of toys:
- Educational books
- Music and Educational CDs
- Board Games (fun for family night)
- Outdoor games or sports equipment
- Hiking, camping, fishing gear
- Roller Skates
- Play sets
- Basketball hoop
- Pretend play toys
If you’re a lucky one, and can convince your family not to waste the money on the toys, or convince the different family members to take turns buying educational toys, here is how they can buy t-bills or bonds through our government (If you don’t live in the US then check your treasury department for information). Maybe you don’t think bonds are the best investment, they can start them a custodial investment account with no deposit required through a number of different brokers (check out how to do this here in another article I wrote):
The below info is from the Treasury-Direct.gov website of the United States.
You can give savings bonds for any occasion or purpose – like birthdays, weddings, or graduations. You can buy gift bonds in several denominations and choose either electronic or paper form.
Buy Electronic Gift Bonds at TreasuryDirect
To buy an electronic savings bond:
- You must already have a TreasuryDirect account.
- Use the Gift Box functionality to buy gift bonds.
- Keep them in your account until you’re ready to deliver them.
To give an electronic savings bond, you must know the recipient’s:
- Full name
- Social Security Number (SSN) and/or taxpayer ID number
- TreasuryDirect account number
When the bond is delivered to the recipient’s TreasuryDirect account, he or she will get an e-mail announcing your gift.
You must be 18 or older to create a TreasuryDirect account and to buy gift bonds. A child under 18 can get gift deliveries in a Minor linked account.
Buy Paper Gift Bonds at Financial Institutions
To buy paper gift bonds:
- Visit any financial institution, fill out the purchase application, and pay the cashier.
- You’ll receive your bond within three weeks. If you’re making a last-minute purchase, ask the financial institution to mail the bond directly to the recipient.
- Ask for a gift certificate or download and print one below.
If you don’t know the recipient’s SSN, you can use your own SSN. Should this happen:
- Your SSN will appear on the bond. (The first five digits of your Social Security number will be masked and replaced with asterisks).
- You’ll incur no tax liability.
- It won’t be used toward your annual purchase limit.
Gift information can’t be printed on savings bonds. So announce your savings bond gift with a gift certificate.