When you think about the holidays, gifts usually spring to mind; and this year, your children’s holiday cards might include a few dollar bills in spending money. Depending on how old they are, their reaction may vary: while the younger ones might not quite grasp the actual worth of these pieces of paper, older kids ill likely burst with delight at their sight.
Nevertheless, during this time of abundance, many parents still want to teach their children healthy, responsible spending habits. Here are a few ideas on how to put these gifts to good use.
- How about a bank deposit or a brand new account!
By encouraging your children to deposit their money into bank account, your introducing your them to the idea of saving. However, they might not agree to this more rational option: seize this opportunity to teach them that although it’s nice to treat yourself from time to time, saving is also key to developing good financial habits.
- Boost their RESP
If you get some cash for the kids, get the most out of this gift but putting some of it into a registered education savings plan (RESP). Not only will this money attract government grants , it will also grow tax-free until they reach post-secondary education!
- Go on a special outing
Are you trying to stay away from stores? More and more parents would rather spend money on an “experience” than material goods. Of course, you should go for something in line with your kid’s interests, but with all the options available, you have your pick of activities: a day at a themed park, a visit to the aquarium, skiing, going to a show, rock climbing, getting tickets to a hockey game, etc.
- Expand their book collection
Young readers will always be thrilled to go to the library or a store that sells used books; their shelves are full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered! You could also get them a subscription to their favourite magazines so they can have a surprise waiting for them in the mail every month.
- Help them discover their next passion
Horseback riding, hip hop dancing, drawing, programming, acting, gymnastics… Nowadays, children of all ages can choose from a wide variety of hobbies, sports or a classes! Maybe they could use that extra money to try out a new hobby?
In the end, what truly matters is getting your kids to reflect on the options available to them instead of making an impulsive spend. Thinking before spending is a great habit to develop all year round, not just after the holidays!