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6 tips for teaching your kids about holiday budgeting

6 tips for teaching your kids about holiday budgeting

by Justin Weinger
December 03, 2020

6 tips for teaching your kids about holiday budgeting

6 tips for teaching your kids about holiday budgeting

by Justin Weinger
December 03, 2020


Overspending at Christmas is easy to do and most parents are guilty of it most holidays. There are many parents out there who wonder what type of example and what type of stuff this is teaching children everywhere.

Whether you're getting a short term loan, using your savings, or putting presents on your credit cards, you still need a holiday budget that you set and don't exceed. Creating that budget and Christmas shopping can still be fun, and it can be a teaching moment for your children as well. In this blog, you'll find a few tips for teaching your little ones about holiday budgeting.

1. Create a gift list

This year, the gift list should be a list of people that your kids want to buy gifts for. Everyone they want to buy for should be included on that list. Of course, they'll do their list for Santa as well, but this list is so you can teach them to budget during their holiday shopping. Once they've created their lists, it's time to start teaching them how to budget to get something for everyone.

2. Assign costs to the gifts

Now, ask your kids how much they want to spend on each person on their list. Don't give them any limits on their spending at this point, let them assign the costs they want to assign to each person.

3. Add up their spending 

Once your kids have decided how much they want to spend on each gift, total up the spending and let them know the total. They'll probably be quite surprised at the total you've come up with. Now that you've let them play around with a list, move onto the list you know they want to create.

4. Create a wants versus needs list

Kids have a habit of wanting something so badly that they don't worry about the cost. Instead of just having them put it on their wish list, have them create a list of three to five things they want and three to five things they need. Having them separate the lists is a great way to show them the pros and cons of just asking for whatever commercial comes up during the holiday season. Not only will both lists make great shopping lists for you, but they'll also teach your little ones the importance of value as well.

5. Give them a budget

Once you've created a list of people and gifts they want to shop for, give them a budget that they must stay within. While there are rules and etiquette for gift-giving among adults, it doesn't quite work that way with kids. Give your child a set amount of money before you leave the house and let them know that's all they'll have to buy their gifts with. This teaches them to check prices and plan ahead for what they want to get everyone on their list.

6. Pay with cash

In a world where most things are paid for with a credit or debit card, it's easy to spend and not realize how much you're spending. Many times, teaching children to pay with and count cash is also forgotten. Let your kids be a part of the purchasing process and give them cash to pay with. This will not only help with their math and counting skills, but it'll also help them learn to budget their money as well.

These are just a few of the best tips out there for helping your kids learn to budget for gifts during the holiday season. Don't forget to teach them the real reason for the season, because that's what Christmas is all about.

This article was written by Justin Weinger from Kids Ain't Cheap and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Teaching kids about money is the first step to a healthy financial future. With a Junior Savers Account, your child learns that saving money can be fun. Plus, he or she will have access to family fun at the bank all year long!


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