If you want to help out someone you know who is struggling financially, you could give them money for Christmas. That might not be practical, though, since the recipient may be too proud to accept a handout, but there are several gifts you can give that will save the recipient money all year long.
[In Pictures: 12 Money Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes]
1. Reusable water bottle
If you know someone who drinks lots of bottled water, they could save a lot of money and make less waste by using a reusable water bottle instead. If they switch to drinking water instead of soda they could save a lot of calories as well.
2. Rechargeable batteries
This is a great gift for that person who has lots of electronic gadgets that take batteries. This will save them from having to spend money on new batteries plus it is much more convenient than always having to run to the store for new batteries.
3. CFL Bulbs
These bulbs use much less electricity than standard incandescent bulbs. According to EnergyStar.gov, a CFL can save over $40 in electricity costs over its lifetime.
[Visit the U.S. News My Money blog for the best money advice from around the web.]
4. Power Strip
Many of the electrical appliances in your home , such as TVs, use electricity even when they are turned off. By plugging these appliances into a power strip and turning it off when the appliances aren't being used the recipient will save electricity and reduce their electric bill.
5. Smarty Pig account
This account is a good alternative to just giving money. It is similar to a savings account but it is for a specific financial goal. There are some restrictions on when account holders can access their money. The account currently pays 1.75. percent APY though and if you cash out via a gift card you can receive up to a 10 percent bonus on your money.
These are just a few gifts that keep on giving. If you choose to give a gift similar to these, your recipient will not just get a gift at Christmas, but they will save money throughout the entire year.
Andy Hough writes about frugality and living well on a small income at TightFistedMiser.com.