Use the Holidays to Teach Your Kids about Money

Holiday finance lessons for kids

With Thanksgiving coming up, that can only mean one thing: the holidays are back.

A time full of family get-togethers and fun, the holidays can also take a toll on your bank account, something your kids never experience. They see holiday dinners and gifts and assume their parents made it all happen very easily. This makes the holidays a great time to show them what all it takes to get everything necessary for the festivities.

Below are a few ideas to incorporate your children into the holiday financial mix, including opening a Student Saver account for them to put the lessons they learn into action themselves.


Start by identifying the various costs of the holiday season:

  • Gifts
  • Supplies for making gifts
  • Cards (with postage)
  • Family Christmas letters
  • Gift wrappings
  • Parties
  • Bringing traditional family meals to gatherings

Identify your overall monetary limit for the entire season the best you can. You should also set monetary limits on immediate family members. Be sure to include your kids on these talks you have with your spouse.

Limit gift giving outside of immediate family with mass-produced homemade gifts. This is another way you can cut costs if you have a long list of people outside of your immediate family you want to give gifts to. Ideas for these easy and efficient gifts include:

  • Cookies
  • Cookie mixes or other mixes for baked goods in a jar
  • Spice rubs
  • Trail mixes

The ingredients for these gifts can all be bought in bulk, making them inexpensive options.

Whenever you go shopping, be sure to take your kids with you. Before you enter the store, make sure you share with them how much you are aiming to spend. Have them help you find items on sale or similar items at lower prices.

When you get home from you shopping trips, pull out the receipts and create a running tally of your expenses. Not only does this help you keep track of what you’ve spent, but it also shows your kids how small costs can add up over time.

At the end of all your shopping and spending review what you’ve spent. If you came in under budget, great! Login to your Online Banking account (while your kids watch) so they can see you transfer the unused funds into your savings account.

Put these lessons into action, and open a Student Saver account at Putnam Bank. This no-fee account opened with you will be a place they can save up money from allowance, chores or part-time jobs.

The holidays may be busy, but taking time to include your kids on financial decisions and actions can develop into a gift that keeps on giving throughout their life.

Putnam Bank, Equal Housing Lender, Member FDIC