It is always appreciated when a lot of thought is put into a gift. Many of us end up gifting things that the person may already own and may never use it. So this Diwali, you can choose to give your loved ones a brighter and financially secure future rather than traditional gifts. These will never go to waste and will give the receiver a choice as to what they wish to do with that money instead of you trying to decode what they might like.
These are especially suited for family members. For example, you can fund a senior citizen savings scheme for your parents or start a small savings scheme account to contribute towards your brother's/sister's child's education.
You could also choose to invest a lump sum in an equity fund or a fixed deposit for your sibling. Please check the tax implications on gifting commodities worth more than Rs 50,000.
Gifting precious metals like gold or silver to your spouse or close relatives is also a good idea as they hold monetary value.
One of the problems with traditional gifts is repetition. You do not know of all the things someone owns and the intention of giving something personal is not met when received in an amount exceeding our needs. Gift cards eliminate this problem. Easily available with all major retailers, these can be used by the recipient to buy anything they like and when they need it. You can pick an online retailer like Amazon or Flipkart or any multistore offline merchandise retailers that your loved ones like. These can be bought for different denominations with varied validity.
You can also make it more personal by choosing a retailer or based on the brand or activity your friend likes. For example, if he/she is an avid reader, you can buy a gift card from a bookstore or if he/she is into travel, you can buy a gift card from a travel company to which they can add more funds to go to a destination they prefer.
The gift of knowledge is always valued. You can always find individuals who are financially backward and do not know about government-backed financial instruments like small savings schemes that they can take advantage of, educate them. They could be from your workplace or your area of residence.
You can help someone open a bank account or apply for a PAN card. You can also volunteer to pay for the first deposit of a Sukanya Samriddhi scheme for your maid's or apartment security guard's daughter. Your attempts to help them multiply their savings will be appreciated more than what you do for family.
Another target section is the youth in your family or neighbourhood. Teach them to cultivate the habit of investment early and take advantage of the abundance of time they have in front of them to multiply whatever money they can manage to save.