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Like many couples, we are blessed with great family and friends. Having them has made our lives better and we love celebrating big events like wedding and baby showers with them. When deciding what to give we tend to agonize over what would be the most helpful for our loved ones. One option that we like is giving money for several reasons.
Cash and Investments as Gifts?
Yes, a personal finance blogger is talking about giving money as a gift, but the idea has been around for a while. When I was younger I had received a savings bond. It was a small gift when someone bought it, but it paid dividends later when I cashed it out as an adult and used that to buy a car with no loan.
Talk about an awesome gift for a college student!
When we were engaged we created our registry. We were very grateful for everything that we received. Some of the gifts included cash and we opened a savings account. We decided to use that money for goals that we had, including helping with a down payment on a house.
When we finally bought our house we thanked our loved ones. Some people didn't realize that we saved their gifts for our home. Seeing how beneficial it was for us, we tend to give money as gift for bridal showers and weddings.
This week Betterment had some big news – they've started Betterment Gifts. Now it's easier to give a gift that grows and can be used to helped loved ones to invest for the future.
If you're not familiar with Betterment, they offer low cost index fund investing options. Investing money is as easy as making a deposit for a savings account. The company uses exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for their portfolios and you decide how you'd like allocated.
After hearing about this new development, I asked for more information, in case Couple Money readers want to an option for their own gift registries.
How Betterment Gifts Work
Depending on whether you give or receive, it's pretty easy to use Betterment.
Want a Gift Registry?
Setting up a gift registry is fairly straight forward.
- Create a new account or login to your existing Betterment account
- Click “add new registry”
- Create a preferred URL address for people to visit
- Choose an event type for your registry
- You can now give the details of the event. Please enter an event name, date, description, and location.
- Add your investing goal and select which account you want the gifts contributed towards.
- Go ahead and save your registry and make it public.
You can also set up a thank you note to be sent to those who have sent gifts.
Want to Give?
Basically when you make the contribution the money is automatically invested. You simply pay using your credit or debit card.
With Betterment your gift goes to the recipients. Betterment has no credit card or transaction fees associated with the gift giving. The only fees incurred are the annual costs associated with an account, currently 0.15% to 0.35% of assets.
Thoughts on Betterment Gifts
I know that wedding registries are the first thing that may come to mind, but parents to be may want to discuss having this as an option. I can see many people excited to help contribute to a baby's future college fund.