With the holidays on the horizon, it’s time to start saving for gifts, if you haven’t already. It’s also a good idea to get your kids in on the act. Learning to save will benefit your child in the long run, teaching them a cautious approach to handling money and preparing for larger expenses. Here are a few tips to help your child save for the holidays and put gift giving and finances in perspective.

  1. Help your child make money. You can pay your child to do chores around the house or have them find (paying) odd jobs to raise money prior to the holidays.

  2. Create and put money in a “holiday envelope.” As kids earn money, encourage them to put some in this envelope. Have your child set a goal and write it on the envelope so that he or she continues to fill it until the goal is reached.

  3. Match their funds. To help motivate your kids to save, offer to match the amount of money they earn. If your child is doubtful that he or she can come up enough money to buy nice gifts, matching funds may be the light at the end of the tunnel to turn that pessimistic attitude around!

  4. Put a cap on their holiday budget. While you want to teach the importance of giving, you also want to demonstrate that giving should be done responsibly, within the means of one’s income. It’s OK to put attention to other areas where savings should be applied and not feel badly if gifts aren’t lavish.

  5. Remind them to donate to charity. Yes, charitable giving is another form of giving. It’s important, however, to distinguish gift giving from charitable giving. Have your child donate a portion of his or her earnings to a nonprofit charity apart from what they spend on actual gifts. Remember to model this notion yourself!

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