The holidays are a time of increased spending for many families. That means that the holidays are a time to budget for any and all expenses, and make a plan for paying off debt that will be accrued during these months. And what better time to teach your kids about money management than when they can see it in action? This article is dedicated to helping parents give a holiday money lesson for kids.
Tuesday Tip – A Holiday Money Lesson for Kids
For a lot of kids, money is an abstract concept far removed from their daily lives. But, I think every child can understand the concept of needing money to buy presents, right? Taking the time to sit down with your kids around the holidays is a great way to introduce them to the value of money, saving, and budgeting. Especially when talking about money is put in terms of something they can apply to themselves. So, here are a few ways to give a holiday money lesson for kids.
Take Your Kids Shopping
I know, as if holiday shopping isn’t hectic enough, you want to add kids to the equation? Well, the learning opportunity for your kids might outweigh your desire to leave them at home. When you take your kids shopping, talk to them about what you are buying, how much it costs, and why you can’t purchase everything you may want all at once. One strategy is to try using a list and sticking to it. This let’s your children see you prepare to shop and execute a spending goal.
Depending on their age, maybe they can help you make the list or even price check some items along with some math work. If you pay for purchases using a credit card, you also could broach the topic of credit and managing credit card debt. The habits that your children see you execute matter in how they may manage their money down the line. Sharing healthy shopping experiences with them will have a long lasting effect.
Have Conversations About Spending
You can always have conversations with your children about spending. But the holidays provide a unique time where you can discuss wants vs. needs, budgeting, and the idea that money doesn’t grow on trees. Your kids may not understand that the electricity in your home costs money, but I bet they’ll grasp that the toy they want isn’t free. Yes, Santa may bring some presents – but even he doesn’t have an unlimited budget! Try sitting down while the kids are writing their holiday wish lists and offer some lessons about their idea of spending, and how to buy the things we want.
The Concept of Giving
Above all, the holidays are about giving. Talking to your children about generosity and helping the less fortunate is an appropriate discussion to have around the holidays. This conversation can tie in a number of topics; different financial situations for families, putting aside your wants for someone else’s needs, and donating money are a few examples. You can take the conversation in any number of directions to whatever feels appropriate for you. One holiday money lesson for kids is to deliver some of their old toys to children in need. Your family may also think about packing up some food for your local food pantry. Or maybe you’d rather spend time volunteering at a shelter or food kitchen.
In short, involve your children whenever you can. Kids learn through experience. The more often children are exposed to both conversations about money and handling money, the more prepared they’ll be for their financial future.