Children are one of the hardest groups to buy for when shopping frugally. Kids TV is saturated with ads for the newest (and often most expensive) toys, and parents feel pressure to buy these pricy gifts in order to be a good parent or give their kids a memorable holiday. But the holidays are an opportunity to teach important lessons about money and how ‘giving’ is not only about material things.
While the pressure is there to buy the ‘season’s hottest toy,’ there are ways to lessen the load on your wallet for the holidays. As many parents will attest, for the youngest kids, the wrapping paper is more fun than what is inside it! A beautifully wrapped, gently used toy or book is a joy to open, and until age 6 or 7, the kids won’t even know that the gift wasn’t purchased new.
Websites like ThredUp.com make it easy to search for like-new toys, books, clothes and other gift items. Their Annual Toy Swap is on now – last year over 2,000 toys were exchanged, including a Nintendo Wii! Simply log on and search through thousands of boxes packed with items your kids will enjoy; boxes loaded with goodies start at just $9 plus shipping. You can also list you own boxes to sell through the site. thredUP will send you empty USPS boxes and even generate your mailing label and schedule pickup, and you can earn up to $10 per box sold – which can go towards your holiday spending budget.
For older kids, make a point of talking about how the holidays are about giving rather than receiving. We like to talk about the ‘gifts of experiences’ – a sledding day with dad or a girl’s day out with mom. By wrapping up a sweet memento – for instance a cute sparkly nail polish, with a note about the fun activities you’ve planned for the two of you, there’s still the fun of opening gifts, plus the anticipation of the special day to come.
For more inspiring ideas, and to get in on the conversation, join the Daily thred on ThredUp.com.
Special thank you to Michele Adams and Gia Russo (Directors of Content and Community) for their contribution to our blog article today.
Michele and Gia are lifestyle experts and former Martha Stewart Living editors. The “MiGi girls” have been featured in over 100 publications sharing their collective expertise on organization, budgeting, cleaning, home design, and parenting. Most recently, they were featured in InStyle, Lucky, Glamour and Fit Pregnancy. The duo has also appeared on Oprah and penned the book At Home with Friends, which was selected for Oprah’s Book List.