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.
Last week I saw a tweet from Adam at Money Savvy Daddy that said, “If you could teach your child just one money/financial lesson… what would it be?”
I love to learn what people are teaching their kids so I was eager to read the responses. Not surprisingly, many people said, “Save!” Saving is definitely important, but saving without context… how can that be successful? What are you saving for?
A few months ago, I had a parenting win. J received a gift that he couldn’t use, and instead of exchanging it for something right away, he returned the item and put the money aside for something he really wanted — The Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon Lego set.
This BIG set cost $99.99, and with 6% tax, he needed a total of $105.99.
He started on August 26, 2017 with $25.17 in a Target gift card.
By saving $8.00 every two weeks (of his $9.00 allowance), he calculated that he would reach his goal on or before January 19, 2018.
The Power of a Goal
Not only did he save part of his allowance, but J was inspired to do chores for extra money and also added in some gifts from relatives. Both accelerated his progress towards the goal.
On November 10 (2.5 months in), he had $90.67.
J’s 9th birthday party was last weekend! If you remember, we asked for no presents, phrasing it like this: “Please, please no gifts for the birthday boy.” And if guests wanted to, they could bring something to donate to our local animal shelter. We said: “J would like to make a donation to [Specific Shelter] for his birthday. If you would like to donate with us, please consider something small from their needs list: [link].”
I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. J mentioned that some kids said they were still going to bring him a present (in addition to a donation), even though he told them not to. I even heard one mom make a comment to another – that her husband said, “Are they trying to make us feel bad? Are we supposed to do this now?”
A few parents texted before the party with questions, and I reiterated what the invitation said and how we wanted to focus on giving.
J and I had a few talks before the actual party as well – that the party was the present and getting to spend time with his friends. (Just to try to avoid a potential upset kid when he realized there were no presents for him.)
But all in all, it DID seem to work!