December 8th, 2008
How do you help your children budget for Christmas gifts for their friends?
What do you do when your children want to buy an expensive gift for a friend they don’t know that well?
Is it ok to say, “You can’t spend that much on someone you don’t know that well.”? Does it sound like I’m teaching them to put a price tag on friendship?
I’ve found that it’s a big mistake to go shopping for Christmas gifts with my children for their friends without a budget and a plan. When they want to buy a $20 toy for a classmate they just met 2 weeks ago, it seems incongruous to say “No”, and at the same time try to teach them to be generous to others.
My solution to budgeting my kids for gifts is to give them a set amount, such as $30. Then we sit down and make a list of friends they want to give gifts to. From there, they can decide how much they can spend on each friend.
When we go shopping with the list, I don’t have to be the bad guy to say “No” to an expensive gift.
If they want to spend $20 on one friend, then they will have to be very creative to get gifts for the other 9 friends with $10.
What ways have you found to help your children budget for Christmas gifts?