If you’re a parent, you need to read this before your holiday shopping.
- The holidays can be an expensive time, especially for parents who tend to be too busy giving their kids the perfect vacation.
- A few tips from Dave Ramsey can help you end up avoiding spending regrets.
- Create a budget based on fair spending for each child, and stick to that budget.
The holidays are always a dangerous time to be on your budget. It’s easy to get caught up in the festivities and end up charging your credit card far more than it should. That’s something you’ll be very sorry for once the bills start rolling in the new year.
While this is true for everyone, it can be especially difficult for parents to stick to reasonable spending limits during the holidays. After all, many moms and dads want their kids to have a magical and memorable vacation—and that could lead to emptying your bank account just to make your kid’s dreams come true.
The good news is, financial expert Dave Ramsey has some holiday shopping tips for parents that can help you avoid spending on things you’ll regret.
1. Set a reasonable budget
According to Ramsey, the first thing parents need to do is “set a reasonable budget” before they start shopping for holiday gifts for their kids.
Ramsey believes it’s important to budget because parents end up spending a fortune on gifts that they often can’t afford.He pointed out that the 2022 Personal Finance Survey will be conducted by ramsey solutionwhich shows that the average family with children expects to spend $1,300 on Christmas Day 2022.
That’s a lot of money, but things can add up quickly when you start trying to fulfill all your child’s wishes. Instead of spending money on everything on your child’s wish list, Ramsey believes it’s better to decide how much cash you actually have — and then let your budget dictate which items end up under your tree.
“Before you go shopping, be sure to determine your gift budget,” warns Ramsey. “Don’t let your child’s list tell you how much you should spend — your budget should do it.”
2. Figure out what is fair for each of your children
Ramsey next recommends figuring out how much you should be spending on each child. This advice is also important. Even when it comes to children, most parents like to keep their spending reasonable, while others may choose to spend a little more on older children whose gift lists tend to be more expensive.
Whatever works for your home, it’s best to figure it out before you start buying. Otherwise, if you end up spending a fortune on one child to get the gift they want, you may have very little money left in your budget for other children. This can lead to overspending.
In the end, the final step Ramsey urges parents to take is to actually stick to their budget — which might be harder to do than it looks.
“Beware of sneaky purchases that can drain your budget, like Christmas gifts,” he advises. “Don’t be preoccupied with making a pair of socks that look like they were made by Saint Nick himself.”
Making a big list of everything you’ll be buying — including prices — is a great way to follow this advice.
If you take each of these three tips into account, you can give your kids a great Christmas without breaking the bank or draining their college funds. They may appreciate your gift under the tree and the wise financial example you set for them.
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