Budgeting for Christmas gifts

Budgeting for Christmas Gifts

In one of my very first posts, I shared a short-term savings plan for Christmas gifts. Kids can totally learn to save for Christmas gifts and purchase them by themselves. I’ve found that it makes J feel good to save the money, think of thoughtful gifts, make the purchase and wrap gifts on his own.

Because we’re using FamZoo cards now, we decided to utilize both the budget and additional account features for J’s yearly Christmas gifts list.

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Making the transition from cash to card - dollar bills and credit card

Making the Transition from Cash to Card

For two years now, J has been using cash, paper and pencil to manage his money. I’ve been paying monthly interest and bi-weekly allowance in cash. I’ve been calculating interest payments in Excel and emailing statements.

My goal was to help him understand cash (and math) by using hands-on, practical examples.

It’s been awesome. J started with $40 in his savings envelope in April 2016 and had over $500 by June 2018. (Pretty good for a kid with no job.)

Time to move on

When he turned 10 a few months ago, I knew it was time to learn something else. Cash is great, but how many of us really use cash and only cash every day? His financial education needed to include the responsible use of cards.

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Bar chart for post on Risky Business of CD Rates

The Risky Business of CD Rates

Last November, J opened a CD at Ally Bank. The idea came from a big conversation we had about making his money work harder.

He invested $500 in a 2-year Raise Your Rate CD at 1.5% at Ally. This type of CD allowed him to increase the rate once during the term. (For reference, his online savings account was earning 1.25%.)

What happened

Fast foward to this spring and I saw the rates going up. And up. And up.

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Teaching Kids to Spend - Think before you spend - stop sign

Teaching Kids to Spend: Part 5 – Think Before You Spend

Thanks for joining us for the last part of teaching kids to spend! (If you’re here for the first time, you can start with post 1.)

It occurred to me as I was sitting down to write this that perhaps I wrote these in the wrong order. Today we’re going to cover some questions to ask before you spend.

So far we’ve been talking about buying items at a cheaper price. Now I’d like to venture into the philosophical realm and ask…

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