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Teach kids to shop smart

By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com
Monday, December 5, 2011
Posted: 9 am ET

Parents looking for smart ways to educate their children about holiday shopping can turn to some new tips from Wells Fargo bank. The tips aim to help parents and grandparents prepare their children for the holiday-shopping season and teach them good financial habits before they start shopping themselves.

Here's the list.

  • Make a budget. Review your credit card bills, bank account records and receipts from January 2011, set a spending limit for this year's gifts and stick to it. Explain your budget to your children and help them understand why it's important. Keep track of your debit and credit card spending, or use a preloaded gift card and stop spending when the balance zeroes out. A thoughtful gift doesn't have to be expensive.
  • Trim your gift list. Discuss your gift-giving plans with your friends and family. You might be surprised at how willing they'll be to pare down mutual gifts, limit gifts to homemade treats or throw a holiday potluck get-together in lieu of gifts. If you have a large family, consider drawing one gift name per person, rather than giving gifts to everyone all around.
  • Stay focused while you shop. Teach your children to avoid impulse purchases triggered by ads or specials purposefully designed to entice you to spend more than you should. Delay larger purchases for 24 hours. You might decide you don't need or want that pricey item.
  • Open a bank account. Instead of buying another gift for a child, open a bank account and give the child the gift of savings. Teach the child how to make deposits and withdrawals, track transactions and balance the account.
  • Start saving now for next December. Set aside a specific amount from your first paycheck of 2012 and your child's first allowance in January for next year's holiday spending. Make a New Year's resolution to keep spending and saving on track, starting off the new year with these good financial habits.

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff

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2 Comments
Wolverine
December 07, 2011 at 9:52 am

Shop smart.
Shop S-Mart.