Handing your teen the responsibility of managing gift purchases during the holidays may seem almost as nerve-wracking as handing them the keys to the car. Before they start shopping, take the time to discuss budgeting and the importance of planning ahead when it comes to money.
Here are a few tips to ensure your teen not only stays within budget this holiday, but also learns valuable financial skills for the New Year.
Holiday Shopping Tips for Teens
1. Set a holiday budget: Have them make a budget that includes not only gifts, but also wrapping paper, cards and any shipping costs. Then, prioritize gift recipients (Tier one is immediate family, tier two is extended family and friends…). Finally, assign a max amount that can be spent on each tier. Also, make sure they have the cash on hand to be able to fund these gifts.
2. Research gifts in advance: Before hitting the mall, have teens identify what they want to buy for each person on their list. It will help them avoid impulsive purchases, preserving their holiday budget. Shopping in stores without a plan is bound to prompt teens to spend more than they expected.
3. Use apps to save: Smartphone apps like CouponSherpa enable your teen to find coupons before shopping and RedLaser compares prices while at the store.
written by: Scott Gamm
Scott Gamm is the author of More Money, Please and a family finance advisor for H&R Block Dollars & Sense.
photo courtesy of Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net