Money Gifts Can be a Teachable Moment! Alternatives to Buying More Toys.
During this frosty time of year, nothing warms the heart quite as much as finding the perfect gift for the one your love. For parents, the holidays are a time where striking the balance between indulging your kids and instilling a sense of gratitude for the things they already have, can prove difficult.
To help set you up for success, here are some tips on how you can introduce both meaningful and responsible giving into your holiday family traditions:
Give Your Kids Gifts That Give Back
Teaching your kids the goodness of giving back is a great way to combine the festive spirit of the holidays with a take-away lesson they’ll value for life.
Many charities rely on the end of year giving to meet their revenue goals. Consider giving an in-kind donation or sponsoring a child in your child’s name. You’ll know exactly where your money is going and your child will be able to see the impact their gift has on a child half way around the world. Alternatively, you could plan a day volunteering as a family at a local food bank, soup kitchen or shelter, spending quality time together providing help to those in your community who need it most.
Come up with a creative way to package your gift so the kids still have something waiting under the tree. Set up a scavenger hunt or puzzle that unveils this year’s gift that gives back, and get them excited about how much better it is to give – than to receive.
Help Your Children Plan for the Future
When it comes to responsible giving, the holidays are the perfect time to start talking about long-term investments. Try gifting your older children with a cheque and then opening the forum to discussion about responsible ways they could spend their newly accumulated savings. Don’t shy away from talking about big purchase items in their future like houses and cars, but do focus on more immediate needs like education, which will require significant financial contribution over the next few years.
Introducing children to the idea of an individual RESP, similar to our Flex First Plan, is a great way to help children understand how investing today can add up to more freedom to make decisions tomorrow. Explain how the government offers the Canada Education Savings Grant that matches 20%, up to $500 per year, to boost their savings! Learn more about the Canada Education Savings Grant here.
One last tip? Offer to match their initial investment to get them really excited about the idea of setting themselves up for long-term financial success.