Sara Says: Save for the Holidays Now

Young Americans Center for Financial Education General Leave a Comment

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2014_Sara_Says_Holiday_BudgetMy parents had a love-hate relationship with the holidays when I was growing up.  I couldn’t understand why they would be stressed about that magical time of year.  After all, what’s not to love about snow, hot chocolate, and presents?  When I became an adult and realized that snow can be dangerous, hot chocolate is fattening, and presents are expensive.  I finally understood why my parents weren’t completely enamored with winter.

To add to their anxiety, I loved to shop (and still do).  That meant that each time I would go buy presents at a holiday bazaar or store, they heard these words: “Can I have some money?  Please?”  Their response almost always involved an exasperated sigh, an eye roll, and an inquiry as to what had happened to my allowance money, which had undoubtedly been spent on ice cream or shoes.

If this is a problem you encounter each year, you would be wise to take some preventative action.  When?  Now.  In October.  Even though it seems like nobody except Michael’s is preparing for the holidays.  How?  Watch this video and follow the steps below.

Sit your kiddo down and have a conversation to determine some of these details:

  • For whom do you want to buy gifts?
  • How much money would you like to spend on each person?

Once you have an idea of how many presents your child wants to buy and how much those gifts will cost, calculate how much your child earns:

  • How much money are you earning per week/month right now?
  • How much money should you set aside in order to purchase all these gifts?

If your child wants to spend more money than he/she earns, you can do one, two, or all three of these things:

  • Revise who is going to receive gifts.
  • Budget less money per present.
  • Offer to help your child pay for these purchases.

Essentially, you’re setting a savings goal and devising a simple budget.  Hopefully, this will help alleviate some of the stress felt by parents during the holidays and let you take time to enjoy the beauty of the season.

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