Holiday Gift Budgeting with the Kids!

Holiday Gift Budgeting with the Kids!

Holiday Gift Budgeting with the Kids!


With the holiday season around the corner and budgets about to be blown away, at WazzCards we believe budgeting and thinking about gift-giving in financially effective ways is a great teaching lesson for little ones to learn about financial literacy.

So in today’s blog, we get into options to maximize your reach with just $20 for everyone in your gift list, while ensuring you and your little ones stay on budget!

Receiving a gift is exciting but giving is even more fun!

This blog is not about the latest gadgets on Amazon or Wayfair to help you narrow your gifts, but instead on ways and options at your disposal to maximize the reach only $20 per gift can provide.

However, choosing the right present can sometimes make you anxious. More so, picking the wrong gift can ruin a relationship or friendship.  Thus, you must make the right choice.

Gifting has three goals:

  • To strengthen a relationship between the recipient and giver.
  • To make the recipient happy and feel appreciated.
  • Not become broke or feel like you overspent in the process.

Whether it’s a congratulatory card at a wedding or a wrapped acrylic box, everyone interprets gifts differently. Some people feel a simple thank you or hello is okay, while others prefer showing up with a bottle of wine. Either way, you must be careful when giving a gift.

Fortunately, gifting should not be expensive. With $20, you can find a present that will leave an impressive gesture to your recipient.

So, how can you make your gifting impressive, stay on budget and teach your children or students important lifelong lessons on financial literacy?

Get Them To Plan Out A Budget

Make a list and check it twice (yes even Santa knows this trick).

As soon as children hit grade 3, they are familiar with basic additions, subtractions and know who is important in life that deserves their gift.

So either hop on over top Excel or Google Spreadsheets make a list containing these fields:

  • Name (phone number)
  • Relationship (i.e. mother, father, grandmother, cousin, friend, neighbour etc.)
  • Occasion
  • Interest (this could be anything from general categories like electronics to card games and or even toys)
  • Mode of delivery (in person, directly online, etc.)

Now here is the important part, work with them to align on a budget.

If there are 10 people you have to give it to and there is only $250 to spend, then you know that the split will have to be prioritized.

There can be instances where they not only buy the gift but help create it to save on costs!

So let’s explore ways you can make your dollars count and stretch them to make the most out of this season and learning opportunity!

Related: Top 10 Financial Literacy Books For Children

Related: Debit vs. Credit Purchases

Gift Giving Tips 

Know your Recipient

Is it a group or personal gifting? Whether it’s a game night, dinner party, or office gifting, it’s proper to show up with something. When it comes to group gifting, give a general gift as a token of appreciation. In this case, it can be a bottle of wine or flowers.

When it comes to personal gifting, know their particular personality, taste, and preference. If it’s a family member, a bouquet can do. For the significant other, you need to get them what they like most. This time you can personalize it by printing their names on it.

Be creative and generous. But being generous doesn’t mean expensive, but sending an intriguing DIY present will still sound considerate.

Here are 2 examples of gifts that cost less than $10 to make but look amazing:

DIY Photo Holder

Nothing serves memories better than a great photo taken together or of the loved one in the right light.

Estimated Budget:

  • The frame ($8), Photo print $1

Pro tip: this works wonders for grandparents when they are given a picture with their grandkids in a nice frame!

Picture in wooden frame with Good Vibes Only inscription hanging on white tiled wall

Example or Inspiration For Frame or Wall Décor as a Gift

Free stock photo of adult, blur, contemporary

Another example of giving a photo frame with a picture of a loved one to grandparents

Recipe In A Jar:

Who does not like a great sugar treat? Well all the ingredients can be taken from things that you have around the house or find the missing pieces to keep the cost low.

Estimated Budget;

  • Bottle or jar purchased from Dollar Store ($2), Missing ingredient purchase (5), ribbons (1), print out of recipe to go with the card ($1)

Pro tip: this one works great with the aunties, uncles, and the budding chefs on the lists! Share the ideas, share the recipes and make it a memorable experience by sharing photography after cooking it!

Happy crop cute girl with pigtail and blurred father shaking off flour from hands while making dough

Well, you get the idea with these, but the important thing is to involve your little one in the process so they get the budget with you and learn these important lifelong lessons early on.

Be Intentional about Timing

Timing creates an impact when it comes to gifting. Ensure you don’t wait for ages to send your gift as it may lose its meaning. For example, if it’s a birthday present, ensure you send it on time, not late with more than five days after the birthday date.

But if you think your gift can overwhelm the recipient who is going through a rough time, you can wait until the situation settles down. You can also delay the present due to your situation. In this circumstance, send a text or card to notify the recipient.

Gifts Do Not Have To Be Material Things!

A squeezed budget can make you struggle to find the perfect gift. However, a minor tweak can make everything sound thoughtful. So, how can you do it?

  • Be generous with words: Offering kind words, giving a listening ear, or praying for someone is more than enough. A simple card worth $10 with generous words can sound like a $100 gift.
  • Be creative: As mentioned in our examples above, there are tons of ways to unleash your creativity by offering a homemade, unique gift. Alternatively, a beautiful letter with kind words can be a fantastic gift. You can also compile pictures or video messages.
  • Give your time and energy: The gift of service is incredibly generous. For instance, you can sacrifice your time to ensure the party décor is done on time.
  • Your Influence– Use your network to help a friend or invite them over for dinner (while being COVID safe of course) to share the valuable holiday time together.

Consider Presentation and Packaging

Make your inexpensive gift look unique with thoughtful wrapping. If the person you are giving a present is passionate about the ecosystem, choose eco-friendly packagings like cotton drawstring bags, Kraft papers, or glassine envelopes.

Consider the flower arrangements, and if possible, put them in a vase, especially for someone grieving. Ensure you trim stems, add water, and have a perfect and unique arrangement to ensure the recipient doesn’t feel inconvenienced doing all those tasks.

Consider Experiences

A recipient is likely to be happier when they get gifts involving specific experiences. Remember choosing an experience is more personal, which implies you have close ties with the recipient.

However, avoid experiencing gifts if you have no closeness with the person. This will instead create anxiety about picking the wrong choice.

Personalize Your Gifts

Personalized gifts are versatile to fit any occasion since they are not occasion-oriented. They are perfect for all age groups, and they strengthen bonds. To create a long-lasting impression, you can personalize a mug, keychains, cards, watch bands, or even lamps.

Practice Math With Them At Every Stage

Part of the holiday season budgeting lessons for your children is doing the mental math together and as many occasions as possible.

By talking about it, planning it out, and considering gift-giving options for various family members and loved ones, we get to show them practical ways math can be used to make real-life decisions.

How powerful is that?

Another way we recommend to get some practice in for financial literacy math with your little ones is you use our free app to solve some questions together.

Here are a couple of great scenario questions that our app offers to reinforce

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Here is another example of doing quick purchase math to help them get familiar with buying gifts and doing quick calculations for the holiday shopping season:

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Accessing WazzCards For Quick Financial Literacy Lessons & Quizzes

You can access the free app on our apps page. Click on the “Create The Classroom” button.

Step 1 – Creating A Classroom:

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Step 2 – Log in with Google:

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Step 3: Choosing A Financial Education Deck To Start Practicing

We recommend any of the following decks with pre-populated quiz style questions to practice with: Table Description automatically generated

Final Step – Selecting The Start Classroom Now

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If you are waiting to join the session remotely then you can ask them to join by giving them the class number. Alternatively, you can just begin your lesson by hitting the “Start Lesson” button if you are doing it with your child or student in person.

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The Bottom Line

Budgeting for gifts with your little ones is an amazing life lesson and a fun activity you can do together with your child or students in class.

You get to showcase the importance of prudent financial decisions early on, help create strings of emotions for the giver and the recipient of the gifts.

Giving your loved ones gifts in an economical, financially prudent but still meaningful way helps take away the stress out of this activity.

At WazzCards, our library has a ton of financial literacy decks that get into gift-giving, discounts, and more from grade 3 and above. Children and parents get to learn about ways to save, budget, and plan using our decks. A great way to practice concepts that surround budgeting, planning, and saving!

Happy Shopping!