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How to Agree On a Christmas Budget for Your Kids

GiftThis time of year some parents face a serious challenge when it comes to Christmas shopping. Not only do they have to figure out what the kids want (and will play with), but they also have to figure out how much to spend. This can be harder to agree on than you may initially think.

We often develop a view on Christmas and gift-giving based on what we received or did not receive ourselves growing up. The problem is that our spouses or co-parents were not raised in the same household and situation as we were, so that may be an issue.

For example, your wife didn’t grow up with much, so she wants to give the kids everything. Or maybe you’re the financial planner in the family and spending big on Christmas doesn’t make sense to you, but your spouse thinks the kids deserve it.

There are a lot of scenarios where this can play out in your relationship, but here are three tips on coming to an agreement on what to spend this year.

How much can you afford to spend?
This may seem like a simple question, but many people spend money that they simply don’t have. So let’s start with the basics of only spending what you can afford without going into debt.

What do the kids want?
Some kids may want to see 50 gifts under the tree, and they don’t care what the value is. Others may want one big gift that costs as much as the 50 combined. Figure out what type of child you have and think about what would make him happy when he first spots the tree on Christmas morning.

How can you both win in this situation?
If you can’t agree with your spouse or co-parent on what to spend after going through the first two questions, then it’s time to communicate. Discuss why you both feel the way that you do, and then talk about what you’re willing to concede. How can you meet in the middle so you are both happy with the pending purchases?

On Christmas day there’s no benefit to making the children happy if you’re mad at each other. Don’t forget the best gift you can give is a loving family above all else.

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