Kids and holiday gift expectations in tough economic times

Saw this report on CNN about preparing kids for a leaner Christmas in the wake of the current economic conditions.  It’s so important to make sure their expectations are in line with the family budget.  And kids will get it when you sit down and explain things to them - as it says in the report, they’ll probably be anxious to help think of presents that are more manageable.

Happier holiday finances the Saving SANTA way - Part 5

5. Acknowledge – Take time this holiday season to acknowledge those important people in your life. Encourage your kids to write them a letter, poem or story to acknowledge those important people in their life and why they are part of it. What a great gift! Consider the thought and heart that goes into writing an eulogy… wouldn’t it be a great gift to write something that acknowledges our loved ones, friends and mentors right now when they are present to receive it!

Happier holiday finances the Saving SANTA way - Part 4

4. Time - ever heard the expression that “Time is Money”? Save Santa and the spirit of the holiday season this year by giving time to your family and others rather than buying the traditional gift of a Christmas candle or figurine. How many of you have received these small gift items and either left them packed away, donated them to a charity or re-wrapped them and passed them onto someone else? As time is such a valuable commodity, giving your time to your family through family traditions, volunteering at a community fundraiser such as Santa’s Anonymous and visiting with friends is one of the greatest gifts we can give over the holiday season. It will truly show those you care about how much they mean to you and it creates lasting memories.

Happier holiday finances the Saving SANTA way - Part 3

3. Needs vs. Wants - help your child understand the difference between needs and wants. Retailers and marketers “sell” to our wants and feed on our emotions to capture our purchasing dollar. Children are easy targets for mass media advertising and the temper tantrum at the store check out counter is not an unfamiliar scene for most parents. By teaching your children about the necessities for life and how to plan and save for the wants, empowers them to budget their money, have choice and make sound purchasing decisions in the face of high pressure advertising campaigns. Your children will learn about the power of delayed gratification which is the cornerstone to developing healthy saving habits!

Happier holiday finances the Saving SANTA way - Part 1

1. Spend Wisely - Don’t buy knick knacks and “on volume” just to fill the space under the tree. These things clutter the house and become “Cash in the Trash” very quickly. Pick one major gift for your child that is a lasting and more memorable item. This will serve in teaching your kids about the value of the dollar and help them develop a solid foundation around what value is.

Happier holiday finances with the Saving SANTA strategy

As a parent, do you cringe when the mass media advertising hits the airwaves in November and your children start to chant, “Mom! Dad! Come see what’s on TV! That’s what I want for Christmas!”?

Well Christmas doesn’t have to be stressful for you or your pocket book if you teach your kids the language of money and early saving habits. You can help your kids embrace the holiday spirit, spend wisely, minimize the devastating impact on your wallet and credit card balances, and have one of the best holiday seasons ever.

Find out how with our Kids & Money expert Kim Deep, as she presents the five steps in her “Saving SANTA” strategy - that starts Monday November 10 for five days.