If your kids are just grown and starting out on their own, they might be entering their first ‘grown-up’ holiday period. Here are some tips to help them avoid the common problem of holiday overspending.
Set a holiday budget.
Setting up special sub accounts in the months before holiday season starts can help your grown up kid be crystal clear about how much can be spent for what. An allocation for gift giving, one for special clothing, one for travel expenses and one for entertaining can show exactly where they might be getting off kilter.
As they go through their first holiday season, remind them to check their bank accounts regularly so they have continual visual reminders of how they are doing with their budget.
Go easy on giving parties.
Halloween fun, Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas and New Years parties are fun, but the host or hostess is usually out quite a bit of time and money to give them. In chats with your grown kids, talk about past times when you overextended on hospitality and mention how you now handle entertaining during the holidays.
If they are giving parties, they can save money by using electronic invites, not requiring costumes or special dress, having everyone bring a dish or snack and letting invitees know your favorite beverage.
Don’t go overboard on gift giving.
Remind them that they can make a list each year of who they want to present with gifts. No one expects a person just starting out on their own to buy for every single member of the extended family. Knowing how many to buy for and what they can spend on each is huge in making sure they stay in their budget.
Look for less expensive alternatives.
Although you may send a picture card each year to your friends, family and business associates, perhaps they can shave costs by sending e-cards their first year.
Seeing you celebrate the New Year in a swank downtown setting might be too expensive for them. A casual gathering with a few friends might be a better first New Years for them.
Did you counsel your adult children on how to survive their first holiday season on their own? What advice did you offer?