Christmas is just around the corner. While this time fills most people with festive cheer, the “most wonderful time of the year” can easily turn stressful when you’re doing some holiday shopping. Come to think of it, there’s crowded malls, overpriced items, and sometimes grumpy salespeople that you have to deal with.
For many teens, holiday shopping can be a nightmare. With limited resources and little time to shop between the end of their classes and Christmas, they can easily make not-so-great spending choices. To help your teens navigate Christmas shopping with ease, keep the following tips in mind:
Let them know you won’t agree with all their choices.
Undoubtedly, making wise spending choices and building effective financial habits will take a lot of practice. Let your kids know you won’t always agree with the money and purchase decisions they will make. However, they must learn how to manage smaller amounts of money now than later on when their mortgage is at stake.
Fortunately, you now have access to kids debit cards designed to help you teach your children wise financial choices at an early age. You can teach them wise holiday shopping hacks like cutting down on impulse spending using this valuable tool. All you need to do is download the app, and you’re good to go.
Help them figure out who they are shopping for.
During the holidays, it’s easy for teens to get carried away and spend mindlessly. To prevent mindless spending, help them create a list of the people they want to buy gifts for and how much they can afford to spend. Having a list is also another effective way to avoid impulse spending.
To help teens clearly understand how much they can afford to spend, start by helping them calculate how long they need to work to spend a specific amount. For instance, if they earn $11 an hour, they need to work around three hours to purchase a $25.00 item.
Factor in their shopping style.
The shopping style of your teens can have a significant impact on their spending. If they are the type who weighs the pros and cons of items they want to purchase while shopping, they are more likely to be influenced by the people they are shopping with, other customers, or what they see on social media channels.
On the other hand, if they are the type who plan their purchases ahead of time, they are more likely to do some online research so they can make choices that are based on their preferences. They are also more likely to purchase gifts and items that are special but still fits within their budget.
Teach them to be savvy shoppers and to watch out for marketing tricks.
Would it be wiser to get something for free or get something with twice the value for a reduced price? Is a discounted price for one item better than buying three for the price of two? Or is buying only one of an item on sale a better deal than buying one and getting another since you only want one of those items anyway?
Staying on top of their shopping game can be tricky for teens, especially since stores are full of special holiday items and deliberately enticing offers targeting teenage consumers. To avoid making snap decisions, encourage them to calculate first if a deal is worth it or not.
It would also be a good idea to have them use their debit cards when they are out shopping to limit their spending on the balance that’s available on the card. As soon as the money allotted for Christmas gifts has been depleted, spending should also stop automatically.
While teens only have a few financial obligations, it’s not an excuse to spend money mindlessly, especially when doing some holiday shopping. It is important to remember that it is during the teenage years when they start to develop money habits that can stick with them through adulthood. You can liken shopping for the holidays to a crash course in planning, setting goals, budgeting, and dealing with the outcomes of their financial decisions. That said, make sure you are there to guide them and help them ace this important test.