Learning Center

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Give the Gift of Financial Literacy

Blog Post
2 min read
Father and Son holiday shopping

It’s the holiday season, and kids can’t help but add every shiny new toy and gadget to their growing wish list. Despite attempts to instill the value of saving and making thoughtful purchases, the pressure to create a memorable and joyful experience often finds parents caught up in the spending spirit. But, an overflowing toybox does little to teach children important money habits.

Use these tips to change up your family’s holiday routine and your child could unwrap financial skills that last a lifetime.

Seasonal Budgeting

As adults, we recognize that living within our means can be challenging without a budget. Teach this lesson by creating a special holiday spending plan with your kids. Depending on their age, task them with composing a list that includes the estimated costs of gifts, meals, and festive decorations. Then, when shopping for these items, they can act as your little human calculator.

Give them non-monetary rewards, such as extra play time, when they notice whether you’re sticking to the budget. Involving them in budgeting could help teach financial restraint, regardless of the occasion.


Raising a cheerful giver starts with teaching manners around receiving gifts from others. Prepare your child by managing expectations before exchanging gifts. They may not receive everything they want for the holidays, but they can be grateful for everything they get. Having a heart of gratitude can take their focus off of themselves and place it back on giving to others.

If your child wants to buy an expensive gift for someone, help them create a savings plan. Assist them as they add up the coins and bills in their piggy bank plus how much more they’ll need to afford the gift. Encourage them to shop sales circulars to compare prices and use coupons to reduce costs. Explain why a lower-cost alternative might be the best gift for the recipient and them.

Charitable Activities

Many community nonprofit organizations accept food, clothing, and cash donations year round. However, many will tell you that their greatest needs are during the year's coldest months. During this time, you can give one of your most valuable possessions – your time.

When you volunteer with your children, you model what it means to give generously no matter how much money you have in your bank account. Family volunteering might inspire them to hold a fundraiser or save up money to buy a holiday gift for another child.

Little ones can enjoy the holiday magic while also growing in fiscal responsibility. The festive season no longer needs to spark overspending.  With a little creativity, it could spark the beginning of responsible money management.

Open a SAFE Youth Account with your child this season. Choose from two accounts, based on the minor’s age, which can support them as they increase their financial literacy.