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Now that the season of giving is over, here are a few ideas to ensure that your kids won’t let all that aginaldo get into their heads

Post-holidays are the perfect time to teach kids about money. They are not only a few hundred pesos richer—and absolutely clueless on what to do with their money besides buying the latest Shopkins toy or that Star Wars lightsaber—they may or may not have gotten their Christmas wishes, both of which need some kind of a follow-up lesson. According to Kiddo-preneur founder and ANC anchor Maiki Oreta, who has three daughters, a 10-year-old, a five-year-old, and a six-month-old, Christmas and New Year, a time when everyone is so focused on spending and getting gifts, bring to light the importance of teaching kids how to earn and save up for the things they want, all on their own.

Giving kids money lessons is not that difficult as long as parents keep it fun and get the kids involved. Here are ways to teach kids about money, post-holidays.

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HAVE THEM MAKE THEIR OWN GIFTS

One way for kids to realize how hard and costly it is to give gifts is to let them take responsibility for their own gift-giving. That way, they will understand that people cannot always give them what they want and that buying gifts is not as easy as  it seems.

Many parents shoulder the cost of their kids’ gifts to friends, to cousins, to titos and titas, arguing they are not earning enough money to buy. But why should they buy when they can make gifts instead?

“My husband and I encourage our kids to make greetings cards like birthday and thank you cards, Christmas cards. The kids make them from scratch. They even sell some to friends and family members. With this, they are not only doing something fun, they are also earning from it.”

Oreta, for one, encourages her kids to make homemade gifts. For instance, just this Christmas, the family bought raw organic honey and glass jars from wholesale suppliers. They packaged them into gifts and made special gift tags for each.

 

LET THEM OFFER THEIR SERVICES

Getting kids to accept small, easy-to-accomplish jobs exposes them to the concept of “earning money in exchange for work.” This is an excellent way for them to learn about money and understand its value. Children won’t place as much value to money when it is given to them as opposed to them earning it through their own efforts. For instance, kids can offer babysitting or tutoring services to their younger cousins or even to neighbor’s kids. They can offer stimulating activities like telling them an interactive story, which they can playact or playing board games with them. Ates and kuyas can help little kids with their projects and other schoolwork, prepare for exams, or learn something new like playing an instrument or doing calligraphy. The job of taking care of children younger than they are will not only earn them money but also give them a sense of responsibility.

Oreta also suggests getting kids to wrap gifts for a fee. Older ones can also offer a Christmas tree packing service, where they offer to take down Christmas trees for family, friends, and neighbors, and properly store the ornaments in bubble wrap or boxes. They can also offer to set up the table or create Christmas decorations, or come up with the entertainment for Noche Buena. Moms and dads can then compensate them based on their efforts. It may be too late now to institute these Christmas ideas but one can still keep this idea in mind for Christmas this December.

 

OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT FOR THEM

With the few hundreds (sometimes even thousands) that children have gotten from Christmas and New Year ampaw, open a bank account. This will open their eyes to the concept of saving money and of getting an interest for their money. Parents can tell the kids that with the money they saved, they can buy what they want for Christmas. Some parents even sweeten the pot by telling the kids they will double whatever the kids save at the end of the year, giving them a nice incentive and teaching delayed gratification at the same time. “Once they have the cash, children can create a budget per head on their Christmas list and then spend accordingly,” advises Oreta.

 

HELP THEM START A SMALL BUSINESS

Another way to make wise use of the aginaldo children received for the holidays, aside from putting them in a savings account, is to invest a portion of it in a small business. Kids, for instance, can make loom band bracelets and sell them to relatives and friends. If they like baking cookies and cakes, why not make several batches and sell them to others? Lemonade isn’t the only thing that kids can sell nowadays as what can be seen in every Kiddo-preneur event where kids sell their own stuff.

Although the start of the year is a good time to start these projects, it won’t be a problem if you start it in the middle of the year. Most parents would take on projects like these during summer when the kids are not so busy with schoolwork. It doesn’t really matter when you start it as long as you do. “As with anything else like piano lessons, soccer, ballet, etc. the more practice the kids get, the better they’ll become at it—same goes with entrepreneurship,” Oreta says.

 

To know when the next Kiddo-preneur event will be and for more ideas on how children can earn, save, invest, and donate, visit www.kiddo-preneur.com/