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Parenting Poll: How much money do you give your teen for Christmas shopping?

By November 30, 2012

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My daughter has a very part time job, therefore she has been able to save some money for Christmas shopping. After counting it up and seeing what she would like to buy her sisters and her friends, she realizes that she may not have enough. She then started looking for sales and has not - yet - asked for more money from me. The thing is, I'm not sure how much money I'm willing to give. I'm sure after talking to her I'll know better what she needs, but as a ballpark figure, I don't know. My feelings are that I was willing to give her more last year, but why should she be penalized for having a job and saving some money? I'm going to have to think about this. While I do, let's get a pulse from our parenting community with a poll - and don't forget to leave your opinion in the comments area!

Poll: How much money do you give your teen for Christmas shopping?

See the poll results.

Comments
December 4, 2007 at 7:36 pm
(1) Kirsten says:

I think that a daughter should be rewarded for working while going to school and being able to manage her money. I think you should be willing to give her what you gave her last year, since you set the precident. If she doesn’t need as much, then give it to her anyway to save. It will instill the habit of saving money. A great xmas gift for her would be a book called “Cool Stuff They Should Teach in School”. I think if she is working and going to school, she will really relate to the ideas and the messages in the book. I know I did…

December 4, 2007 at 7:39 pm
(2) parentingteens says:

I think I like how you think. Thanks for the tip on the book, I’ll have to check into it for her and the site.

December 5, 2007 at 8:59 am
(3) Nyn says:

It really depends on who the gifts are for – if it’s for family only, I might give a little more $$. If it’s for my teen’s friends, I might give a little less. It really depends on the situation, and also how much $$ I have to give in the first place. The fact that the teen in this example had a job is a positive factor, not to mention how hard she’s working to make the dollar stretch.

December 5, 2007 at 10:16 am
(4) Dede says:

I believe it is odvious that you have instilled some great qualities in your child because she HAS saved some money for christmas presents. I would give her what she needs and praise the fact that she has made such a wonderful effort in saving and has not asked for help. Keep it up MOM u r doing something right. you have a good one!

December 5, 2007 at 3:31 pm
(5) Mary Jo says:

By the time a child is a teen, they should have already been receiving an allowance for several years, and been taught how to budget their money so they do not have to get extra for presents! If they are working, they should also be budgeting for gifts and not need to ask. Handing a child money to buy gifts for others doesn’t allow them to discover and appreciate the true spirit of “giving”.

December 5, 2007 at 3:35 pm
(6) Deb says:

I always tell my kids I will match what they save. So far it hasn’t put me into debt too bad. I do this with a lot of things too. They have a car fund also, and when my son went to buy his first car he had saved up $3,500 which would buy a decent car…but by us matching it, it bought a decent car and a safe car! I think matching what they save gives them ownership and decipline, and motivation! Works for us anyway. Merry Christmas everyone!

December 5, 2007 at 6:06 pm
(7) Cori says:

I don’t mind helping out with giving $$ for friends gifts. But I do think a limit should be set for each friend.

December 5, 2007 at 6:16 pm
(8) Orrie says:

I understand your feelings about not wanting to penalize her. I also commend you on instilling financial values in her. My stance is that IF SHE ASKS, give her enough money that when added to what she has saved, she will have the same amount as last year. Also, let her know that next year she will be on her own. I always cringe at how much parents give their teens. Especially teens who are capable of earning their own money. The years between 16 and 20 will fly by and she should learn to distinguish between WANTS and NEEDS and to prepare financially. My oldest is 22 and although he bought his own clothes from 16 years old and we charged him rent for a year (19 – 20 years old), we never actually taught him to budget. He still calls and asks for money periodically. Dad usually caves in. I will do things very differently with our two younger children.

December 5, 2007 at 7:41 pm
(9) elvi says:

I agree with Mary Jo.My kids get a daily allowance if it’s a school day. It’s just enough for their food and transportation for the day. Yet they manage to save some money. When they go to the mall with their friends, they dont get any shopping money or any money at all from me because that is not a school activity, and they use their savings if they want to watch a movie. I dont give them money for buying gifts for their friends or family members. I have tried to teach them that material gifts are not always the best gifts. Last Mother’s Day, my daughter emailed me a powerpoint slideshow of our family pictures and a poem she wrote. The gift cost her nothing but time, …yet it was one of the best gifts I ever got.

December 5, 2007 at 8:12 pm
(10) parentingteens says:

Orrie – love the family pictures on your site, thanks for sharing those. Also, you hit the nail on the head. She came home today and now her friends and her are doing a pollyanna. Step back mom, you aren’t needed this time. Eep! I may have some different research to do here.

December 14, 2007 at 5:52 am
(11) felicia says:

I THINK MATCHING WHAT UR KIDS SAVE IS A GREAT IDEA BECAUSE A. IT MOTIVATES THEM TO SAVE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AND B. IT PREPARES THEM FOR THE RESPONSIBILITIES THEY WILL HAVE AS ADULTS. I DID AGREE WITH THE PERSON WHO WROTE ABOUT GIVING GIFTS THAT DONT COST ANYTHING BEING VERY MEANINGFUL BUT HONESTLY BALANCE IS THE HARDEST THING IN LIFE TO ACHIEVE. AND FOR MY SON AT LEAST THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE , TEACHERS, FAMILY, FRIENDS, CAREGIVERS, COACHES, ETC, TO GIVE GIFTS TO BECAUSE OF THE VALUABLE ROLE THEY PLAY IN OUR LIVES WE HAVE TO FIND A BALANCE BETWEEN GIFT GIVING AND THOUGHTFUL GESTURES OR WE WILL BREAK THE BANK. LAST YEAR HE DREW AN AMAZING FREE HAND RENDITION OF A PICASSO PIECE. I XEROXED IT, SHRUNK IT DOWN TO FIT IN AN 8×10 FRAME AND GAVE THEM OUT AS PRESENTS. ALTHOUGH IT DID COST SOME MONEY IT WAS A GREAT BALANCE BETWEEN THOUGHTFUL GESTURES AND STILL A NICE PRESENT TO RECIEVE FOR THE HOLIDAYS. TEACHING OUR CHILDREN A HEALTHY BALANCE I BELIEVE IS IMPORTANT FOR THEM TO FEEL CONFIDENT IN THEIR ABILITIES TO BE CREATIVE, HANDLE RESPONSIBILITY AND SHOW THE PEOPLE WHO MATTER TO THEM THAT THEY CARE. MERRY XMAS!!! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

December 10, 2008 at 9:55 pm
(12) Deb says:

I am giving my 16 yr old son $20 to buy a gift for the person whose name he chose. He had a job and then the restaurant closed, so he has no income other than a small allowance. I told him that if he would call and apply to 3 different places for jobs, then I would give him the $20. My 18 yr old daughter works and saves money. She has an envelope system that I set up where she gives 10% to the church, 20% to her savings acc’t, 15% for herself (gifts, etc.); 15% repay loan from me, 30% for gasoline and 10% for misc. She has been able to buy gifts with the money she saves in that area. When the kids were younger and didn’t have jobs with money to budget, then I gave them shopping money.

November 21, 2009 at 3:09 am
(13) Teach Children to Save Money says:

Teaching children about money should start young! I think gifts for friends is OK, but limits should be set :)

November 25, 2009 at 8:12 am
(14) Janet says:

If your teen lacks money for gifts, encourage her to consider gifts that don’t cost money – only time or talent. Perhaps she can make jewelry or crafts. Maybe she could offer to clean a grandparent’s house, or wash their car, etc. I’d encourage creativity before I’d offer money.

January 7, 2010 at 4:53 am
(15) Toby says:

Hello Ladies, am I the only man on here? I think you are all very wise parents and devoted. It’s lovely to see. I have to get a 21 year old a present and was searching for an amount I should give when I came accross this site. But I try not to talk about money at all with mine. They know that daddy works hard and there’s plenty of everything for everyone. I want the children to think about life with abandonment and be a child for as long as possible. They have a century to work and be stressed!! I was lucky to have a fantastic childhood where I could dream and not think about grown up stuff like money. Just my two cents.

January 7, 2010 at 4:57 am
(16) Toby says:

Just to clarify the kids at under 10. The 21 year old is a friends boy.

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