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Finance 101

Teach Good Spending Habits to Kids after the Holidays

Posted on February 18, 2016 by Jake Ward

Too many kids are not financially literate enough and one main reason may be that we've failed to teach our children essential "money-smart lessons." When children receive money they’re more likely to want to spend compulsively. With the holidays having just come to a close, now is a great time to teach kids about saving the gift money they’ve received.

Be a Role Model

Take your child shopping with you to show them how you compare prices. Explain to them how you search for bargains. Use those outings as lessons to instill good shopping habits.

Teach Bargain Hunting

If your kids are purchasing gifts or buying for themselves encourage them to watch for sales. Get them into the habit of checking out penny saver ads and clipping coupons. Tune your kids into the bargains at different stores. Search the outlet malls, and don’t overlook thrift stores and garage sales.

Teach "Wants vs. Needs"

This is the "Gotta Have It NOW Generation," so a big step in helping today’s kids become smart spenders is teaching the difference between a "want" versus a "need." With your kids assess what they already have that is still in good shape and can be recycled; what’s missing and then what's really needed to teach them how to save.

Consider After-Holidays Gift Buying

Some of the best deals are on December 26. Use this to tell your kids that they can receive a couple of gifts on the holiday and will receive a pricier item afterwards. The kids learn to appreciate the value of a good deal, and you’ll be grateful to save money.

Cut Impulsive Shopping

Set a household rule that your child must write down any pricey intended purchase, and then postpone buying it for at least twenty-four hours. It's a great way to teach kids to delay gratification and to think before spending. The wait time could vary from an hour or day to a week or month depending on the child's age and maturity. They might lose interest after the time has passed and agree that they didn’t really want the item. Television commercials are relentless in trying to get kids to buy things compulsively. Take time to explain to your kids the real intention of those advertisers.

It’s never too early to start teaching our kids smart spending and saving habits. Follow these tips or come up with your own fun money-smart lessons to try following this holiday season.