4 ways to teach your children about money at Christmas
How to educate while you celebrate during the festive period.
Oh to be a kid at Christmas! The presents, the decorations, the excitement of leaving a mince pie out for Santa. But among all the Christmas chaos, there’s a great opportunity to teach your children some real-life money lessons.
Over the festive period, we tend to budget (maybe), spend (definitely) and even save (sometimes). Children often learn best by doing, so here are some tips to get them involved.
1. Give the gift of giving
One of the easiest money lessons you can teach your child is to let them buy gifts for other people.
Start by working out who they want to buy for. This can be a friend, their brother or sister, or even a present for you.
Next, give them a budget. For example, they could spend £10 or £15 per person. You can then discuss what sort of gifts they can afford to buy with their budget. They may have some big ideas of what they want to get, but try to talk through what’s achievable!
All of this will help to teach them the value of money and how to stick to a budget. They’ll also get the satisfaction of seeing someone open and enjoy their gift on Christmas Day.
2. Put them in control of their own money
If you or family members are struggling with an idea for a gift, why not give your child a kids’ prepaid debit card and start them on their own money journey?
Prepaid cards, also known as pocket-money apps, help teach your child how to manage their own money, while allowing you to stay in control, at a distance.
As a little extra present for Christmas, you could get your child a card with a custom design and load it with some cash to get them started.
3. Help them to consider those less fortunate
Children can find it hard to understand the value of money. Typically they don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from or whether they can afford a new winter coat for the cold snap.
But while your kids are looking forward to receiving presents, it’s a good time to teach them how to support those who may not have as much as them.
This can be something as simple as donating to your local food bank. Or you could help them to choose toys for a local charity’s present appeal.
There’s also the option to donate directly to charity. Some kids’ prepaid cards allow your child to make a donation to charity straight from their own account.
4. Start them off on a savings habit
You may have relatives or friends who write a cheque or give money to children at Christmas. Rather than allowing your child to spend it instantly, why not set them up with a savings account?
Building a savings habit is one of the most important ways to help them be financially savvy later on in life.
Take this opportunity to get them started and then talk to them about how much they could look to save each month. You could even set a challenge and see if they could double the money they have in their savings account by next Christmas.
There are lots of different types of children’s savings account available. However, if you’re looking to encourage a savings habit, a regular saver account will help them to stick to their goal. These accounts also tend to offer the best interest rates.
Whichever type of account you opt for, talk to your child about adding to it regularly. If they’re around age 8 or older, you could start to talk about the benefits of earning interest on their savings.
About the author
Kate Steere is a deputy editor at Finder.com, specialising in banking and fintech. She has previously written for The Motley Fool UK and Fitch Solutions, where she covered a wide range of personal finance topics and kept a close eye on market trends. Kate is regularly quoted in the national media about banking, fintech and mortgages.
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