Money-smart holiday gifts for children from financial expert Terry Savage

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Financial expert Terry Savage returns to the WGN Morning Show to discuss her money-smart holiday gifts for children.

Terry Savage writes a weekly personal finance column and is the author of four best-selling books.

Here’s a link to the column:

Holiday Gifts for Kids

The BusyKid App

BusyKid is an app that will help any family trying to give their children real-life money lessons. It tracks the chores kids perform, and on payday it transfers payments from a parental bank account to a child’s — either an automatic allowance or additional money for doing chores. Upon receipt, the money can be divided into spending, saving and sharing accounts. It can also be transferred to gift cards or redeemed for actual cash by sending the money back to Mom’s account.

The $14.95 annual fee enrolls an entire household, and it’s well worth the cost. The website explains how it all works with short 15-second videos. Buying fractional shares is a long-time favorite holiday gift idea. This website allows you to buy fractional shares of more than 1,000 stocks and ETFs at a fee of only 99 cents per transaction, with no monthly fees and only a $5 minimum to get started. It is by far the easiest and least expensive way to get kids started on a lifetime of investing. Piggy banks and teen money guides

Finally, no holiday gift guide would be complete without the terrific Money Savvy Piggy Bank available at It’s a four-chambered, see-through plastic piggy bank with sections for saving, spending, donating and investing — available in four colors at $19.99.

For older children, the same folks offer the “O.M.G. Official Money Guide for Teenagers,” which teaches everything from budgeting to identity protection in a language teens won’t scorn ($12.95). And new this year is the “O.M.G. Official Money Guide for College Students,” which comes on a flash drive for use with Windows or Mac ($12.95). All are available at

So this year, make your gift count. Spend a little on these suggestions, and then add to your child or grandchild’s 529 college savings account.

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