By The Kachinga Team
Shopping for holiday gifts can overtake to-do lists this time of year. Most families have some type of gift-giving tradition, meaning that nearly everyone will need to buy a gift for someone. There’s an opportunity not to miss: financial lessons that teach kids and teens the value of money in a tough economy, including the importance of giving.
This year, the economy is a big concern for families. A monthly survey from Morning Consult showed that it’s expected gift-giving will add some stress to their budget this holiday season. More than a third (34%) of U.S. adults said giving gifts would strain their finances, compared with 28% who said the same last October.
With inflation, most families have less money available to spend. The cost of living has increased for nearly everything, from groceries to gas and transportation. If your gift budget this year is the same as last, expect to get less for the same amount of money. If your family relies on credit cards to finance gift purchases, it will likely cost more to revolve your credit card balance. The average credit card interest rate is 19.04%, the highest in 30 years.
One way to combat inflation is to build a simple family gift budget. If this is not something your family has done before, this is a great year to start. A little planning goes a long way to help forecast and manage spending. Each family member can prioritize their gifts to buy and provide their wish list. This shared experience highlights how gifts fit into the overall family budget.
An important reminder: All gifts do not have to be things that are wrapped. Giving of your time and talent are gifts that don’t cost and are often more appreciated. For example, giving your time to a family member who needs a helping hand is often much more valued than another material possession. And an added benefit? A morning or afternoon hanging out with family can become a treasured memory.
Parents, give your teens some extra chore opportunities to earn holiday money. A few examples are helping decorate the house, baking, or babysitting younger siblings while you are shopping. These chores can be more fun than mowing the lawn or doing the dishes. Teens are responsible enough to babysit for younger siblings, take care of pets, and even help with some DIY. You can track chores and add allowance through the Kachinga app and spend card.
Whether it's a charitable organization that your family supports and believes in, or helping out a family in need, making a continuing holiday tradition that can carry on for generations. Decide if your contribution is monetary or time, for example, giving money to an organization focused on homelessness or hunger or serving food at a shelter or halfway house.
Parents, your kids are looking to you to lead by example. Set your traditions this year around giving.