How to Teach Kids About money at Christmas
Christmas is here, and with it comes a whole other level of planning and budgeting your money. This is a golden opportunity to teach your kids about the value of cash and improve their maths skills.
The chance to teach children about money during the festive season goes hand in hand with learning what generosity is, too. Putting in the work now will set your children up for a lifetime of good money habits and shape their values into adulthood.
Below, we’ve laid out some methods you can use to teach your children about money before and after Christmas.
The learning opportunity can start before Christmas begins if you want to get your children involved with the process of shopping for gifts and other necessities for the festive season.
Set a budget
You can fashion this how you like – whether you want to set a budget for presents, meals out or the entire Christmas season, there’s flexibility to teach your children about setting a money goal and sticking to it.
You could arrange family meetings each week where you run through the Christmas budget with them to see how you’re all doing. Step things up by keeping your receipts and asking your child to add up the totals.
Let them pick a gift to give
Getting your children involved with gift giving presents a good opportunity for them to not only learn the monetary value of a present, but also sticking to an agreed price point. They’ll also enjoy giving that gift even more on Christmas Day.
You might sigh at the thought of letting your kids loose in a shop to pick something out, but chances are they’ll want to make the gift recipient happy. Walking them through the process of going to the till and paying for the gift themselves will be a valuable learning experience for them.
Take them on the Christmas food shop
The food shop is an engaging and interactive way to teach children about the cost of a Christmas meal. Allocate some extra time for your shop so you can explain to your child how much the turkey, vegetables and potatoes cost.
You could give them a set budget to stick to before the shop begins and add up the cost of the ingredients as you go. To take it up a notch, remove items from the basket and ask your child to subtract it from the total. You’ll emerge from the supermarket with a kid that has a much better understanding of how much food costs.
The big day has come and gone, and your kids have been very lucky to get some money from their loved ones. This presents new learning opportunities to teach your children about the value of their own money to spend or save.
Spend, save, give method
A good rule of thumb to teach kids is the ‘spend, save, give’ approach. It’s very simple: they can spend some of their Christmas money, put some of it away and give to those less fortunate than them.
The ‘give’ aspect of the method is particularly important here as it adds a new dimension to Christmas for them beyond spending money. They’ll learn the value of being charitable – something far more important than getting presents each year.
Put interest on their Christmas money
A fantastic way to encourage long-term saving habits is by putting interest on their Christmas money. You can agree a percentage rate with them, then explain how their money will grow each week if they were to save rather than spend it all in one go.
Not only does your child practice patience and work on a long-term reward, but they will be exposed to the world of personal finance and banking. Understanding how the system works can only set them up for success in later life.
Set up a savings account
If your child is old enough, you can take the above a step further by taking them to the bank and setting up their first savings account. The bank staff are usually very helpful when it comes to walking children through the process.
Opening a savings account will help your kids feel more in control of their money, plus they’ll get to see interest rates in action over time. It’s a win-win situation.
If you’ve exhausted the above options, we’ve got some creative ideas to bring teaching children about money into the Christmas season.
If you’re doing any baking this Christmas, it’s worth getting your kids involved where you can. This can be an extension of taking them along to the food shop to add up the costs of ingredients.
This active learning approach encourages children to understand the quantities of ingredients going into a recipe and the metric system, as well as how much everything costs to make.
Make homemade gifts
Not only is making homemade gifts together as a family a fun bonding experience, it’s a good way to encourage children to understand how some gifts can stand for more than just their price tag.
It teaches them the monetary value of an object versus the act of giving a gift. An important money lesson for them here is that not every gift has to be flashy and expensive – in fact, homemade gifts can have much more of an impact.
It sounds abstract, but doing volunteer work as a family during the Christmas season is a great way to teach children about money. Being honest about how some people need more help with money than others encourages children to develop their empathy skills and learn how to consider others around them.
Christmas is a wonderful time to teach children the value of money and develop their understanding of giving generously to others. Getting them involved in the process of shopping and gifting will make a lasting impact on their own money habits.
If you want to give your child a helping hand in advancing their money skills, Fleet Tutors can help. Our experienced private maths tutors are suitable for all ages and abilities.