Pressure on parents to spend
Life experiences better than Christmas presents
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