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