What should your kid do with any gift money he gets this year?

What should your kid do with any gift money he gets this year?

Our third Poll the Parents survey had you seeing (and saving and donating) green.

The question was: “What should your kid do with any gift money he or she gets this year?”

  • A) Spend most or all.
  • B) Save most or all.
  • C) Donate most or all.

A whopping 77% of you voted for your child to save his or her holiday cash haul. Pat yourselves on the back! A windfall of seasonal greenbacks or gift cards is a great opportunity to have a constructive conversation about the pros and cons of saving for future desires that may arise after this year’s swell of gift giving—like a new bike for summer or, even further down the road, college.

Still, more than a few of you (18%) felt that a gift is meant to be used in the spirit in which it was given. That is to say, blown immediately! Sarah Michel in Upstate New York echoed many of these respondents, offering: “My parents always told me that gift money had to be spent on a gift for myself, otherwise it was disrespectful to the giver.”

But you’re still the parent, and helping your kid navigate the financial waters by coming up with a thoughtful and wise plan for her cash is one of the most awesome gifts she can receive this holiday season. For instance, if your kid is also sitting on a trove of physical gifts—Rogue One LEGOs, anyone?—it could be a good opportunity to show them that cash is just part their total holiday gift portfolio, and they may be more inclined to stash the money for future allocation, when Krennic’s Imperial Shuttle is but a distant memory.

So sure, it’s okay to let them choose what to do with the cash, but at least help them choose wisely.

For the altruistic 5% of you who see a cash gift as an opportunity to open your kids’ eyes to helping the less fortunate, bravo! It’s never a bad time to encourage a young person to think about earmarking 10% of their gross earnings for a charitable donation. (Yes, gifts are earnings too; potential is just determined by a “naughty or nice” performance.) Help guide him to find a meaningful project or charitable organization that’s ultimately of his own choosing. Better yet, put your own money where those needy mouths are: Let your kid pick a worthy cause and match him dollar for dollar, so he knows you’re also committed to good causes.

We’re loving the feedback to Poll the Parents on Twitter and Facebook. Here are a couple more choice comments from this edition—keep them coming in the future!

Frankest comment: “Have a frank conversation about all the options, then let him or her do whatever they want. People gave them that money to buy something that makes them happy.”

One to think on: “Give it to nana lol.” Hmmm, does Grandma count as charity?


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