Between the gift wrap and the endless treats and the presents stuffed under the tree, the holiday season can create more fear than cheer when it comes to your budget. If you have little ones at home, this fear can multiply as you seek to give them the happiest of holidays. Use this month as the perfect opportunity to teach them about tracking, spending, saving, and giving money with these pointers from First Security State Bank.
- Create a budget: Squeeze the most magic out of the holidays by creating a battle plan. Let the kids listen as you and your partner settle on a budget for the month, breaking it down into categories like food, gifts, parties, and decorations. Once they understand how their parents create a budget, turn them loose to make one of their own, allotting a dollar amount on gifts for each person on their list.
- Get crafty with gifts: If you haven’t been accumulating gifts as they’re on sale throughout the year, your wallet can take a serious hit when prices spike during the holidays. Try your hand at homemade gifts, ranging from thoughtful cards to favorite family recipes, most of which can be created with supplies lying around the home or purchased for cheap. Your kids benefit when they unleash their creativity and see the thoughtful effort of a gift crafted by hand.
- Shop smarter: Don’t leave your kids in the dark with the money you plan to spend. When you head to the store, be upfront about how much you plan to spend on what purchases and why. With that knowledge in mind, they can help you spot sales as you cruise the aisles. Turn your shopping adventure into a game by challenging them to find the best deal or most creative alternative, and pay with cash to give them practice counting money and deducting coupons.
- Give, give, give: It’s better to give than to receive, and the holidays are the perfect opportunity to show your kids this principle in action. Explain that other families may not be in the same financial boat as you, and build on this lesson in empathy by choosing an organization like Toys for Tots or Operation Christmas Child to purchase gifts for a child in need. Have your child help pick out and deliver the purchase to experience the joy of giving firsthand.
Keep your holidays merry and bright with budgeting help from the kiddos. First Security State Bank offers a number of financial planning services to help you and your family make the most of your month. Give us a call at (319)266-0474 to see what other ways we can lend a hand. Have a happy holiday!
First Security State Bank, Equal Housing Lender, Member FDIC