How do you handle money that

Anna - posted on 06/08/2011 ( 141 moms have responded )

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I am curious about how other moms use money that has been gifted to their young children. My 3 year old son just had a birthday, he received $3 from a family member and he was very excited to be able to go to the store to pick out a few toy dinosaurs. It's not something he gets to do often and I know he really enjoyed making this decision for himself. A few days later he got a card with a $20, from a great grandparent who likes to give gifts but has a hard time keeping track of the interests of all his long distance progeny. So he leaves the decision up to the parents who 'know better.'



Now my son got plenty of gifts for his birthday, he doesn't need anything else. Really, don't we moms all know the horror of a toy collection that has gotten out of control? I would like to avoid that. But on the other hand, if he had actually been given a toy, I would certainly let him keep it. I have considered saving it, as we do highly value saving and want to teach this to our children. We have a 529 for him as well as a savings account and from time to time these same family members send cards indicating that they have put money in there, so I get the impression that when they give cash, they intend for it to be spent.



What do other moms do? Do you choose something for your children or let them pick something out? Do you save it for them? Do your young kids even know about savings? (my son does to an extent but certainly does not appreciate the value in it yet, it really is a lesson long in coming). And lastly, do you ever feel, as I often do, that the intent of the giver was for it to be spent? And if so, would this change your decision?

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Anna - posted on 07/15/2011

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We break it into thirds---one-third she may spend (or save), one-third she must save, one-third she gives to the church. As she gets older, we may change the breakdown, but it works for now.

Jane - posted on 06/08/2011

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At that age, I would put it in their bank account (I have a TUTMA account for each child) and leave it there until Christmas. At a slightly older age I would tell them about the money, we would put half of it in the account and let them spend the other half. This teaches them that when you have a windfall you should always save at least part of it., but you can also get yourself something now and then.

Julie - posted on 06/14/2011

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Good time to teach him how to save as well as how to spend... IS there something he's been wanting...? Take him to the store and let him chose. Put 10% away in savings ... maybe even open a bank account...

Momof1 - posted on 06/14/2011

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When my son gets money in his Easter or Valentine's Day cards, that money goes into his bank savings account. He is 19 months, so he doesn't understand about savings, however he has a piggy bank where he gets all our loose change and he sits there and puts it in himself. We haven't yet encountered him receiving money for his birthday or Christmas yet, however, so I'm not sure. I think I would take him and let him pick out a toy (and or clothing if that is want he wanted) with that money. I don't like giving cash as gifts, but if I did give it, I wouldn't really mind if they spent it or put it in savings. It is for them to use or save. If you think your son has too many toys, see if maybe he would like to pick out clothing. Maybe save half and spend half? Or take him out to eat. :)

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Adriana - posted on 01/06/2014

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We have piggy banks for all of our girls. Early on I would teach them to save their coins. By the time they were old enough to understand the birthday money. They 9 times out of 10 asked to put their money into the piggy bank. My older ones now like to spend money on clothes and make-up. But my 5 year old loves to put her money in the piggy bank. She also loves how heavy it is. She also likes to rub it in that she has more money then her sisters. She is going to be my penny pincher.

So I leave it up to my kids if they want to save it or spend it.

Raegan - posted on 01/01/2014

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Whenever any one of us in my family recieve money as a gift I put it into a savings account for the children. For example: myself, my husband, and both of our children each receive $50 from my father in law for Christmas as well as we get $50 for our birthdays. Even the money my husvand and I get gets saved for the babies. They are too yound to know right now, but by the time they are old enough to understand how to save I know they will be greatful for it. :) Now, if we are running low on cash and the children actually NEED something, then I will dip into the davings to get it for them, however, the money is not spent on wants or anything for my husbamd and I.

Cyndel - posted on 07/17/2011

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So far my son just puts it into his piggy bank, we take the cash and give him the equal value in quarters. When he is older we will cash it and teach him to budget it, Long term savings (car, college, house, stuff far into his future), short term savings (for things he wants, we rarely buy toys etc except for birthdays and christmas, most of what he wants he will need to earn the money save it and buy it himself, I did this most of the time as a child and youth, and the satisfaction of buying the object and the knowledge of the work it took to get it made me care for it and respect the objects value), gift money (generosity is very important to us, whether giving the money or using the money to buy something another person needs), and 'mad' money for things like candy or what ever they want...little restrictions here.

Cyndel - posted on 07/17/2011

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So far my son just puts it into his piggy bank, we take the cash and give him the equal value in quarters. When he is older we will cash it and teach him to budget it, Long term savings (car, college, house, stuff far into his future), short term savings (for things he wants, we rarely buy toys etc except for birthdays and christmas, most of what he wants he will need to earn the money save it and buy it himself, I did this most of the time as a child and youth, and the satisfaction of buying the object and the knowledge of the work it took to get it made me care for it and respect the objects value), gift money (generosity is very important to us, whether giving the money or using the money to buy something another person needs), and 'mad' money for things like candy or what ever they want...little restrictions here.

Vegemite - posted on 07/16/2011

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We buy a present with the present money. As for the toy collection, on every birthday of the kids' we will go through the old toys and give the ones they have out grown to charity.

Amanda - posted on 07/15/2011

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hey, my children range in age from 2-8 and every since my first was one we have done the same thing. No matter how much they get half automatically goes into their savings account and the other half they can to spend as they so choose. My 8 and 5 year understand the concept of saving pretty well already and usually with the half they get to do wahtever they want with they will usually put half of that in their piggy bank and the other half they will actually spend. It works really well for us. As for my 2 and 3 year we know they don't understand the concept of money and saving and all that but how else will they ever understand it if they aren't ever shown how and "pushed in teh right direction".

Heather - posted on 07/14/2011

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For me personally, whether the givers intent was for the $ to be spent or not, I put it into my son's savings account. One day he's going to want to go to college or buy a car, and I want it to be paid for at least partly by money that he's saved and earned. I think that in the end our children will learn to appreciate things and the value of $ better if they have to do these things themselves. With that said, my son is only 14 mo old, but I opened his savings account now so that it can start earning interest regardless.

Michelle - posted on 07/14/2011

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When my now 14 year old was little and got cash, we'd put half in her piggy bank, and half in her little purse. When she got gift cards, she was allowed to do whatever she wanted with them. Now, she's 14, and I've noticed she's a saver...and she is very generous with her gift cards. Usually, she'll buy herself and me, if its a card to a store she knows I love. (Barnes & Noble, anyone?)
:-)

Kiley - posted on 07/13/2011

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I think cash gifts are given with the intent that the parents will use it on their little one however they see fit. If he doesnt need shoes, clothes, books or a toy then by all means-put it on the college fund!

Nicole - posted on 07/13/2011

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if its cash i put it in a savings account for my kids to have when they get older...i was thinking they could use it towards collage or a car...but they wont be able to get the money till they turn 18...

Cassie - posted on 07/13/2011

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Until the age of 3 we put all money into our kids' accounts (they each have a savings account + for each child we put some money each pay in a seperate account towards their futures). After the age of 3 when they started noticing money and that these funny paper things got you lollies and toys at shops we put into place a rule of 50-50 if its over $10. Any amount they got after the $10 mark (for any one occasion - not per person/gift) 50% of it would go into their savings and they could keep the other 50% to spend. We also restrict what they can purchase to a degree aswell - no more than one lolly and a toy has to have a place to go in the house. Our son who is 6 next Tuesday is happy with this at this point as we've informed him the savings is to help him buy either a car, a house or a startup in business - the crane hire he wants to own hehe) when he gets big. My daughter just turned 3 and at the moment she's happy to loose change in her "purse" so I hold the other 50% until she spots something she wants and then I help her count the money from the special pocket in my handbag thats just for her.
We let people know about this rule from when they were born and when anyone asks what to get them we remind them of the non toy options aswell.
I recall that when I turned 16 (long long ago :P ) that my Mum gave me a deposit book along with a large chest for my "glory box" (I had everything my first kitchen needed in there except for a fridge by the time I moved out!). It made me so proud to see my deposits go in and that number adding up. It also made me aware of just how expensive setting up a house could be so I appreciated "her things" alot more. If my kids can do half that I'll be pretty proud!

Maggie - posted on 07/12/2011

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my sons grandma has given him heaps, its sad to say i think he has more in his bank account that me! my mum lives interstate so doesn;t send toys at birthdays or xmas so we buy him a lil something from her and put the rest into his bank account. His father and I said when he is ready to move out he can use the money to set himself up with things like a washing machine, dryer, general house hold appliances. Dads rule is as long as its not a car "i wanna get an old bomb and make it our daddy son project" :)

Rebecca - posted on 07/11/2011

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Our kids generally only ever receive toys or gifts on their birthdays or Christmas. With birthday money, I bought each of my kids a funky moneybox of their choice...and future money they've received as gifts has gone in them. I've told the gifters that we are saving it for a 'rainy day' seeing as we generally have lots of new toys to play with at that moment. When everything's calmed down, and something's caught their eye, we wait for the sales and if they're still interested in it, that's their 'out of the blue' gift from so-and-so. They LOVE that. Otherwise I have also used it to take them to a play-cafe or to pay Zoo entry, and sent a card or photo of the event to the giver afterwards.

Larger sums I would generally bank.

Cindy - posted on 07/02/2011

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I have a piggy bank that we put money in that is in my daughters room. For some money though we spend on things that SHE needs like diapers, clothes, shampoo and anything else she needs. But most we try to save.

Cindy - posted on 07/02/2011

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I have a piggy bank that we put money in that is in my daughters room. For some money though we spend on things that SHE needs like diapers, clothes, shampoo and anything else she needs. But most we try to save.

Cindy - posted on 07/02/2011

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I have a piggy bank that we put money in that is in my daughters room. For some money though we spend on things that SHE needs like diapers, clothes, shampoo and anything else she needs. But most we try to save.

Meg - posted on 06/27/2011

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My son just got $25 dollars. We are going a way 4 weekends this summer to events that have a small area of booths and vendors. He will recieve $5 spending at each. That gives him a chance to buy things. I will not be using my money. So he has learned in the past to choose wisely.The money goes in his piggy bank.

Bec - posted on 06/27/2011

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your call but it is the childs so either put it in a bank,buy them something they need with it,let them spend it.Or if you want spend half bank half.

Emily - posted on 06/16/2011

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my son is 2. He has a piggy bank and he likes putting his money in there and we save it :)

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when my son gets money given to him it mostly ends up in his saving account, which gets used if he needs anything new eg clothes toys etc. it also there for when he gets older and can either be a saving acc for a car or a computer something expensive that will need some savings to get started with. my mum regularly send me money for him which i buy something little for him an est into his acc for future.

Amy - posted on 06/15/2011

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My son is 4 1/2 I let him keep some but also has to pick an amount to put in his savings account. LAst time he cashed in his piggy bank and he put 1/4 of the money in his savings then picked out a toy with some of it and well the rest is back in his piggy bank. Make sure they learn to put something away but let them pick something out too. My daughter is 2 and we are just starting the money thing.

Jessica - posted on 06/15/2011

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My son is only 1, but I have gotten him toys with his gift money. I see it as, they are to young to appreciate clothes and besides when I was a child I wasnt expected to buy my own clothes so I spend it on fun things for him. I do however save it for a little while till it adds up so I can get him something even bigger. For his birthday he got $95 in cards. I haven't got anything yet cause we don't have the room for toys. We have another little one on the way so we are going to be moving into a bigger house. Then I will spend the money, or keep saving it up. My husband wants to get him bigger things when he's a little older like a quad so I may just keep saving all of his money to buy his quad with when he's 3. Still not sure though. My MIL once gave money as a gift to a 4 year old. When she got the thankyou card it said how the money was put into his college savings. She was quite upset about this cause she said she intended that money to go for him now. She said from now on she's getting a gift card instead to ensure that he get's to spend it. So I guess it all depends on the person. I'm short term saving it for a bigger toy instead of getting 20 little toys.

Emma - posted on 06/15/2011

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you could use the money towards a day out your lo will enjoy - thus reinforcing that money can buy 'things', it can be 'saved' but it can also help to create lovely family memories

i would suggest that, as money is often put directly into your lo's saving account by family, the cash was intended to be spent and enjoyed

Brittany - posted on 06/14/2011

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i use the money for the child but not for toys, i have used it to buy my daughter clothes she needed. but im not sure if they didnt need anything i would put it in the account

Hannah - posted on 06/14/2011

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When I was growing up my parents always made me put any checks I got for hoilidays/birthdays in my savings account, any cash I got to spend, I didn't understand at first why I had to put it into my savings tell I got to be about 12 and then any odd job I did I would save the money and enjoyed watching my savings grow....When I got married we used that money for a down payment on our house.
Now that I have my own child we put all his money in his savings account also, When he is older I'm sure we will let him keep his cash but for now at only 2 years old, cash and checks all go into his savings.

Keri - posted on 06/14/2011

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my daughter is 6 she gets an allowance she has been for 3 years (50cents for every chore she does) with that being said she does get cash for holidays and birthdays and sometimes she gets alot of cash, i let her decide what she wants to do with it. most times she changes the cash for change and puts it in a bucket; her piggy bank lol. when she wants something like a new toy or bike or go to an extra movie she has to decide if it is worth it bc she is using her hard earned money. let him choose a BIG toy like a trampoline or a trip to the zoo and tell him to get one of those he has to save, and when he wants something ask him well if you buy so and so you will be taking from the trip to the zoo or what ever the big toy prize is and that is a very good way to teach him to save and he learns about money.

my daughter was saving her money but would not tell us for what and it turned out to be for my birthday and she took me and her both out to dinner and a movie! i was soo proud! :)

Corey - posted on 06/14/2011

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also another good sugestion is .... if they have too many toys, let them pick out some toys they dont use anymore and donate them (good working/looking toys, not garbage) and then take them to whatever charity you deside and let them donate their toys to kids that dont have many or any toys. Ive done that with our children and they seem to be more caring individuals than other kids their age! :)

Corey - posted on 06/14/2011

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From my soon to be 18 year old, down to my 18 month old....we have always put half in the piggy bank (when it is full, it goes into their Savings Acct.) and half to them, to spend as they please. At first, they would spend the 50% they got, but soon they realized that if they saved up that 50%, they could get bigger, and better things. My soon to be 18 year old, saved up for her car this way. At age 7 she told me she wanted to learn to drive our car. I giggled and told her that if she saved her money, she could get a car, not thinking that she was actually paying attention to what I was saying. She bought a preowned car, 3 years old...without any help from us, just by saving, ON HER OWN, all of her birthday, Christmas, just because and babysitting money and bought a car on her 15th birthday so she had something to learn on!! I was so proud. She also is still doing the 50%/50% to this day, and she has enough (in the bank) to pay for off campus housing when she goes to school!! Mind you, none of our children get allowences, they are part of this family and so they do have chores suited to their age. My children have learned to save, to be responsible with their money, and they have added confidence just by learning this valuble lesson! My parents never taught us to save, so it took me a long time to learn this lesson. Best to start as early as you can!! :)

Meg - posted on 06/14/2011

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What I started to do was open a savings account. I put some of the money there. My son also has a piggy bank. If we go away for a special weekend. I give him 5 dollars. That is his spending money. Once he spends he it is gone, I am not going to buy him anything. It has been a great teaching tool.

Stephanie - posted on 06/14/2011

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Either put it in savings (that what I do) or buy something "unfun" for him. Something he needs like clothes, shoes, socks or stuff like that.

Kim - posted on 06/14/2011

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We have talked a lot any this. We have a friend who growing up has always saved half of every penny he has ever gotten. As people who have never been great with money we really want to teach financial responsibility and feel it is never too early. So we will let him spent half of what he gets and open a savings account for the rest. Also we have started a college savings fund and told all the relatives abt it. They can make deposits anytime. My husband works for a bank and has calculated by the time our son goes to school the avg cost will be $280000, yikes!

Maria - posted on 06/14/2011

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I wouldn't over think the monetary gift so much. Like you stated, the giver gave cash because they feel the parent knows whats best to do for the child's gift. And if at that time it means saving it for something bigger or even just to teach the child about saving, then that's what's best for this time. It is a gift and honestly, the giver shouldn't be upset if it's used on the child right away or at a later date. Just don't spend it on yourself! There are a lot of really good and practical ideas shared by all the other moms, but again you know what's appropriate for your child and trust in that!

Sarah - posted on 06/14/2011

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At chloes 2nd birthday she got over 100 i think, big family . Went got her clothes that she needed, let her pick two toys she wanted, saved the rest in her piggy bank.

Alice - posted on 06/13/2011

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I personally save this kind of money for my kids. I think its a lot easier for me to do it that way. My kids are still young but iam trying to teach my 5 year old son the saving culture. I bought him a piggy bank and i encourage him to drop some money in there regularly. When it is full, i intend to take him to the bank and we deposit it on his account.

Amanda - posted on 06/13/2011

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My son is 3 and I will use it to do something special. Last year I ordered piza ( a real treat for us) he was thrilled. Whatever I do with the money I take a picture of us doing and show that person. He has enough toys and clothes.

Amanda - posted on 06/13/2011

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My son is 3 and I will use it to do something special. Last year I ordered piza ( a real treat for us) he was thrilled. Whatever I do with the money I take a picture of us doing and show that person. He has enough toys and clothes.

Nalaya - posted on 06/13/2011

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depending on how much has been gifted, I go out and buy a book then the rest goes in to a piggy bank.

Monica - posted on 06/13/2011

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I just keep it in her piggy bank so when she knows the value of the money and for what can be used i will give it to her.

Jillian - posted on 06/13/2011

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For my five year old he wanted icecream at the restaurant after he ate his meal so I let him buy some for him and his two brothers.

Nora - posted on 06/13/2011

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Have him donate his used toys that he doesn't play with to a thrift store and then let him pick out a new one with his savings. Tell him he is helping Santa help other children. He will then learn to share too.

Andee - posted on 06/13/2011

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My children are older (11,10,8) money from friends they get to spend in what they want (they now save for big things). Money from family is saved and then later used for clothing or shoes as needed.
Good luck.

Kerri - posted on 06/13/2011

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Being military & far away from family, my kids are constantly receiving money for every little holiday or birthday, because it's easier than sending gifts. So, I started making them save at least half of what they get. They don't always like this rule, but they've got so much already, I can't just let them keep buying junk, just to buy it. Sometimes I don't let them spend it at all, and make them wait until there is something they really want, rather than going & looking for something to buy. Both kids see their savings adding up, and they get excited about this. I think it's totally okay for you, as the parent, to lay down some rules about their money. My kids are 11, 6, and 10 months.

Alice Mary - posted on 06/13/2011

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I would buy him a cute outfit of clothes and take a picture of him all decked out to send to his Great Grandad. I know my Nan loves to have pictures of her great gran children and takes pride that they are dressed decent lol .

Nicole - posted on 06/13/2011

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My three children all have bank accounts and we go and put in any money that they receive. They all get a kick out of seeing their money grow!

Eileen - posted on 06/13/2011

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It depends... If the child is old enough to pick out something, and the amount is relatively small, $20 or less, I let them keep the money or take them shopping. Often, grandparents don`t know what to get the kids, or its just easier and more practical to send an email transfer so I can shop for the child. In that case, I make the purchase, wrap the gift and put the name of the giver on the tag... usually I consult with the giver on what the item will be first. ,
I know that when people give a child money and say go .. with it..that`s what they want done. IF they don`t say anything, i let the child choose. Sometimes, when they were real young, we`d take all those toonies and fives and pool it to make a big ticket purchase we wouldn`t otherwise select for the child.
We see it this way.. a gift is a gift. enjoy it. Earnings are to be tithed, saved, shared, and spent.

Ruth - posted on 06/13/2011

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we were having similar issues so we opened a second account and then used it for things for her room eg. her new bed its not a toy but she got to choose the one she wanted

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Just depends on the amount for us really unfortunatly if we are tight and need something for them. Small amounts I let then pick a few small toys but larger amounts go into saving accounts or for new outfits, which i try to let them help pick. I have on occaston had to use the money for diapers, but i try to put the money back in their savings as soon as possible

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