By The Kachinga Team
The holiday season is here. Stores, streets, and houses are getting decked out with all that glitters and glows, and family and friends are making plans for gatherings and feasts.
For most, thoughts of gathering with friends and family and all the festivities are a time of joy and celebration. For others, holidays are stressful–some of that caused by finances. Without a doubt, economic uncertainty, inflation, higher interest rates, and the stock market roller coaster all cause stress for families on tight budgets.
So is this the year to change up traditions and make “giving” the focus?
Thanksgiving is our national day to take stock of all we are grateful for and say thank you to those in our life who love and support us. Thanksgiving and #GivingTuesday provide you with opportunities to talk with your family about the importance of giving.
As it turns out, giving can be more satisfying than receiving. Along with helping us manage money, giving can improve our health, strengthen relationships, and become a source of joy with lasting effects.
Changing up your gift-giving traditions doesn’t have to mean a giftless tree or empty stockings. Planning can make all the difference, beginning with establishing a gift-buying budget. And here’s the first teachable moment: Plan your gift budget together, as a family.
Showing your kids economics in action can help all the terms heard and seen in headlines become real. For example, you can compare how much stuff costs today versus last year and explain how more money spent every month for groceries, fast food or dining, and entertainment impacts how much is left to buy gifts.
An October survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers reported that nearly 90% of respondents said inflation would affect their holiday spending. Compared to 2021, it's estimated consumers will spend 6% more overall. The survey also revealed that deals are a priority, with 65% of respondents saying they plan to spend more time researching good deals.
Black Friday is one of the most commercial days of the year when retailers roll out the #bestdealsoftheseason. It’s a day to check off your gift list, and you don’t always have to brave the crowds. Many online retailers offer great deals online.
Comparison shopping to find the best prices is easy now online, and that can even be a #chore assigned to each kid through your Kachinga app. Parents, don’t forget your credit card rewards and cash back! You can utilize online apps to ensure you always use the right credit card in your wallet to maximize your rewards at checkout.
Use your list! Impulse buying can tank your gift budget quickly. Establishing a list and a budget ahead of time is drawing a line in the sand for how much you will spend purchasing gifts. Don’t be tempted by the shiny things that are so easy to grab while standing in line. If bargains are too good to pass up, ensure they fit into your budget.
Another gifting consideration for parents to keep the material out of the holiday is a contribution to your kids’ savings account or individual savings goals. This is literally the gift that keeps giving with interest earnings; and of course, it’s a gift with an opportunity to teach.
Lastly, parents, the value of money taught in the holiday gift budgeting lesson can continue by using Kachinga’s chore app with spend card. Kids will learn to earn, save, give, and spend wisely.
Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving from The Kachinga Team.