The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us! There’s no better time than now to take up the topic of budgeting and saving with the family. The National Retail Federation forecasts that holiday retail sales will be up 4.2% over 2018, for a total of $730.7 billion spent on gifts for family and friends! Before your kids make their holiday gift lists, start conversations on how to set budgets and save up.
Bring on the budget
Setting a clear budget for the holidays and sticking to it will show your kids they don’t have to go into debt to have a holly jolly holiday season. The average American took on more than $1,000 in debt during the holiday season in 2018, so showing kids the importance of setting a budget, planning for the budget (calculating how much everything will cost for the season and how much they will need to save) and how to stay within the budget will serve them in the future.
Make a list (check it twice)
Lists aren’t just for Santa Claus to find out who’s naughty or nice during the holiday season — they’re the perfect tool to help stay on budget when it comes to spending.
Before heading out to a store or logging onto Amazon, ask your kids to make a list of who they want to buy presents for and if they know what they plan to get each person (if so, have them add their gift idea to the list). To make sure your child doesn’t run through their holiday budget, ask them to look into the price of what they want to buy before they plan to shop for it.
Having a list to work through will keep shopping focused, both in-store or online, if you’re out shopping on Black Friday or going after deals on Cyber Monday, teach your kids focus is key.
Set a savings goal
Within the Greenlight app, encourage your kids to set up Saving Goals, specifically for holiday. Perhaps they name it their Christmas Fund or their Gift Goals. Here’s how to set up a Saving Goal:
- Navigate to your “Save” tab.
- Tap “Add a Savings Goal.”
- Enter a title or description of what you will be saving for.
- Enter a goal amount.
- Tap “Add Savings Goal” to complete the set-up process.
Parents, remember that your kids need permission to spend their savings. As they move money out of their Saving Goals into a spending greenlight, they’ll send you a request. Be on the lookout for when it’s time for them to cross holiday shopping off their to-do list.
The season for deals and shopping steals
After your kids have saved to meet their holiday Saving Goals, it’s important to talk them through smart spending. The holidays are a great time to teach bargain shopping (especially with a budget in mind). Here are the three shopping days you and your family should consider for deals and steals:
- Black Friday: The day after Thanksgiving is considered to be one of the busiest retail days of the year and it’s known for its big sales, discounted prices and often crazy in-store crowds. Black Friday is a good day to teach your kids how to navigate in-store experiences and what it’s like to shop with specific items in mind. It’s never too early to start shopping Black Friday deals, you can check out a comprehensive guide here.
- Small Business Saturday: The Saturday after Thanksgiving (also known as Shop Small Saturday) is an opportunity to teach your kids about supporting locally owned businesses and small, unique brick and mortars in your neighborhood.
- Cyber Monday: The Monday after Thanksgiving, known as Cyber Monday, is the hottest day for online retailers to offer some of their best deals for the season. Can’t make it to the mall on Black Friday? Consider shopping Cyber Monday deals from the comfort of your own home.
Talking to kids about sales, coupons, discounts and the benefits of when to shop in-person and online can help create savvy shoppers for life.
A little thoughtfulness won’t break the bank
Gift giving often becomes a major focus during the holiday season, but not all gifts have to come from a store. Some of the most thoughtful gifts come straight from the heart. When your kids are making their holiday gift giving lists, make sure to have the conversation that small, thoughtful gifts can go a long way.
Cookies, DIY ornaments, arts and crafts projects, handwritten cards and random acts of kindness to those we know and love won’t break the bank. And the warm and fuzzy feeling they bring about is what the holiday season is all about after all.
Add Parent-Paid Interest
Parents, to encourage saving, consider adding Parent-Paid Interest within the Greenlight app.
Greenlight offers parents the opportunity to set and pay interest rates on savings to demonstrate the magic of compound interest. Here’s how to set up parent-paid interest!
Get ahead for the holidays with Greenlight
Join Greenlight today to encourage wise saving and smart spending ahead of the winter holidays. Set up a holiday specific savings goal today!