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Holiday Spending Tips for Parents

Save money this Christmas by setting a budget and planning for holiday expenses. 

The holidays are full of fun and family time, but they can also lead to overspending. A survey from CreditCards.com finds that the average parent with kids under 18 years old plans to spend $276 per child on gifts this year. For co-parents, holiday spending can be especially tricky, as parents in both homes are typically buying gifts for the children.

And gifts are just the beginning...

Holiday spending also comes in the form of decorations, events, trips, and other costs parents don’t always consider. Taking all these expenses into account is crucial to setting a reasonable budget for your family and sticking to it.

Here are 5 spending tips to help you save this holiday season:

  1. Gather wish lists. If your child is old enough to articulate what they want for Christmas, ask them to rank their top gift or gifts. This will help you and your co-parent prioritize what to spend on and what to save on.
  2. Plan gift-giving. It’s important to plan what each child is getting and then, if you can, coordinate gifts with your co-parent. This is beneficial to the budgets of both family units, and it ensures that the same gifts aren’t purchased twice. Planning gift-giving with your co-parent also helps create equality in both homes, which creates consistency for your children.
  3. Price match. Once you and your co-parent decide who’s purchasing what, take time to price match before you go shopping. A little pre-planning and research can help each of you find the best deals, saving both family units a little cash.
  4. Prepare for additional expenses. If you're planning to buy decorations, participate in holiday events, or go on a family vacation, you need to plan for these costs too. Saving room in your budget for additional expenses is a crucial step in financial planning for your family.
  5. Find joy in the little things. Seasonal experiences can give your kids just as much joy as material goods. You and your co-parent don’t always have to spend a lot of money to give your children a happy holiday! It’s important to look around town to see what you can do with the kids at low to no cost. Many times, you can find things like light shows, caroling, Christmas movie showings, or holiday concerts.

Saving money over the holidays takes some planning

A little bit of preparation and coordination can save you and your co-parent hundreds of dollars this holiday season. Setting a budget and planning out how you can make the most of it is key. If you and your co-parent could use a service to help you coordinate gift expenses this Christmas, TalkingParents offers several useful tools, including Secure Messaging, Accountable Calling, the Info Library, and the Attachment Library.

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