Pres­sure on par­ents to spend

Life ex­pe­ri­ences bet­ter than Christ­mas presents

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - SO­PHIE ELSWORTH

PER­SONAL FI­NANCE WRITER PAR­ENTS are be­ing urged to give their chil­dren ex­pe­ri­ences rather than cash or “stuff” this Christ­mas.

Bare­foot In­vestor Scott Pape said par­ents should put thought into what presents they handed over and not fo­cus on the amount spent.

A Sun­day Mail Aus­tralia sur­vey found that while some par­ents shelled out hun­dreds of dol­lars to win their chil­dren’s af­fec­tion, more than half of par­ents (52 per cent) said their kids wouldn’t even re­mem­ber what they re­ceived for Christ­mas.

Pape said fo­cus­ing on giv­ing time and mem­o­ries al­ways won out over ex­pen­sive presents or cash.

“Giv­ing cash feels like an eco­nomic trans­ac­tion if it’s just cold-hard cash,” he said. “It is kind of like a gift card – like you can’t be both­ered go­ing into a store and pick­ing some­thing out.”

Christ­mas is just two weeks away and many par­ents will be rush­ing to fill their Santa stock­ings, but this can re­sult in over­spend­ing and heavy re­liance on credit.

The Sun­day Mail sur­vey of 2600 par­ents found about three in four par­ents be­lieved kids of to­day had much higher ex­pec­ta­tions than they did when they were grow­ing up.

As for tak­ing the easy route and just hand­ing kids cash as a gift, 76 per cent of par­ents be­lieve it’s a bad idea.

As for how much cash to shell out, the re­sults found there was a mixed bag on what par­ents would spend. About 12 per cent of par­ents said they would go over­board and spend more than $500 on each child at Christ­mas.

But on the flip side about 13 per cent said they would be splash­ing out less than $50 per child.

Child psy­chol­o­gist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg said par­ents of­ten spent too much money on their kids to “over­com­pen­sate”, and en­cour­aged them in­stead to give ex­pe­ri­ences not pos­ses­sions.

He said kids wanted to form an iden­tity and ex­pe­ri­ences helped do this, whether they are “good, bad or in­dif­fer­ent”.

Pape urged par­ents to take the time to talk to their kids about what Christ­mas means and not just fo­cus on what presents they rush to un­wrap.

WAIT! THERE’S MYRRH: Maisie the guinea pig mod­els a Christ­mas out­fit. Pic­ture: Jamie Han­son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.