Holiday Shopping Tips for Parents to Teach Kids Personal Finance Lessons

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The National Financial Educators Councils’ holiday shopping tips to help parent’s begin teaching personal finance lessons to their kids.

The holiday shopping time can provide parents an excellent opportunity to begin teaching personal finance lessons to their children. Most parents never provide their children with a practical financial education and the consequences are serious: stress, worry and emotional strain that are caused by financial insecurity.

The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC), a social enterprise organization, provides tips for parents interested in teaching personal finance lessons to their children. The suggestions below were designed to help open up the lines of communication between parents and children about money management issues while being enjoyable.

Before beginning last-minute shopping, parents are encouraged to have a discussion with their children to come up with a shopping budget and decide upon the maximum amount they are willing spend on holiday shopping. Parents can point out that each purchase made will limit the ability to purchase other items. Teaching this personal finance lessons will help children understand there is an ‘opportunity cost’ with each purchase.

The second tip to teaching personal finance lessons to children is leveraging the time shopping to point out marketing messages that surround them while holiday shopping. Many people forget to realize that from first moments of children’s lives, they are exposed to thousands of commercials. According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than four hours of TV each day and is exposed to 20,000 30-second commercials each year. As parent’s shop with their children the NFEC encourages them to assist their kids in evaluating the advertising messages. Teaching personal finance lessons like how to logically assess advertisements start with asking: ‘who are they trying to target with the ad’, ‘what are they trying to sell me’ and ‘what is the objective of this advertisement’. This personal finance tip may help children avoid making purchases of items that aren’t that important to them.

The checkout process offers a valuable time to be teaching personal finance lessons. For those parents making purchases with a credit or debit card, share with them the difference between the payment methods. Take some time with this conversation and allow it to branch the importance of keeping debt levels low and parents should share any positive or negative experience that they have had with credit cards.

Following these tips can offer an opportunity to get into deeper conversations that help parents to begin teaching personal finance lessons to their children. Parents are encouraged to use the holiday shopping time as a way to begin discussing money management lessons with their children. The National Financial Educators Council offers a complimentary guide to parents – Family Money Talks, Ten Talks You Must Have with Your Children about Money.

The NFEC is a social enterprise that specialized in teaching personal finance lessons and raising awareness about the importance of improving the financial capability of citizens globally. The NFEC produces a variety of financial education materials to help parents teach their children about money and material for youth to empower themselves.


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Cecile Abad
National Financial Educators Council
714.960.4665 7000
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