Teach the kids good Christmas spending habits

Children enjoy doing their own Christmas shopping for friends and family. If you start early, you can teach good spending habits during the holiday season.

As the parent of a 9 year old tweeny-bopper, I’ve face many challenges when it comes to teaching my daughter the value of saving and spending money. Just this year she asked me if she could earn an allowance and I agreed. I’ve come to find out that my daughter has more money in her piggy bank than I have in my own wallet and at first I was a bit disheartened by that fact. Upon reflection, I’ve discovered that I’m actually pretty proud of her. She’s saving her money to spend on something she wants later down the road. I could hope she’s saving it for a car, but I’m not that lucky.

She asked me if she could have money – not her allowance mind you – to spend on family members this year for Christmas. She wanted to try her own hand and choosing and paying for gifts. To me, this is not an unusual request considering for the last three years she’s been participating in a Christmas present shopping day at school where she’s been able to buy presents for family. The concept the school has used over these last few years is one that has helped me reiterate and encourage within my daughter to help instill these good spending habits.

Elementary school’s textbook page on money spending

Let me explain to you how her elementary school does this. A week before Christmas the school announces their gift sale and sends home an envelope that is marked on the front with columns and terms for members of the family – mother, father, brother, sister, grandparents – you get the idea. Each present the school offers costs anywhere between fifty cents and two dollars. The idea is for the parent and the child to sit down and determine who the child wants to buy for and how much they want to spend. The final amount they want to spend is – presumably – given to the child by the parent.

Children who are conscientious about the money they have and what it is to be used for will make wise purchases and come home with small tokens for their family. The children who are not conscientious may need some guidance from the teacher. In any event, it is one of entrusting the child with money to be spent wisely.

It is also another way of showing your child that if they buy a small present that is from the heart the receiver will cherish just as much. That, after all is one of the meanings of Christmas, right?

Plan out a shopping trip with your child

Sit down with your children and talk with them about spending money at Christmas time and how to do it wisely. Make a plan of how much each of them would like to spend and how they are going to break it up through their list. Monitor them in the stores to see how well the do and try to encourage them if you feel they can make a better choice. Not only will you help your child along, they will be left with a feeling of doing something well and proud of the gifts they picked.

2 Comments about “Teach the kids good Christmas spending habits”

  1. Sidney Says:

    I like the idea of training a child in the way s/he should go. An impactful lesson is showing a child they do not have to spend a lot of money on someone to show the care.

  2. Tracie Says:

    Its a great idea ….assigning responsibility is the best way to teach them the practical aspect of things.Even I constantly struggled to teach my 11 yr old kid the value of money.Kids often learn through fun and game …..I taught him through fun how to set aside money for savings and wiser opportunities and on completion of task ,I would reward him on that basis.

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