A reader named Sakura sent me an email asking the following question: How do you keep costs down with teenagers? I have 18, 15, and 7 year-olds. The first 2 are getting harder to shop for because they are wanting and needing bigger items.
Great question, Sakura, and one every parent of a teen can relate to.
First a couple of things about teens to ease the pain:
- Teens should be mature enough to understand that requesting big ticket items means fewer gifts. Maybe even a single gift.
- Teens often want practical things, like clothing. I’ve never run the numbers, but I’m sure we spend much less on clothing for our kids than we did when they were younger, simply because they buy much of their own clothing or they ask for it as gifts.
Having said that, even the practical items that teens request today often come with a name brand price tag.
Think North Face and Vera Bradley.
The way I usually handle gift giving for teens is to give one big ticket item that is within our budget, and then fill in with a few inexpensive items so the kids will have things to open on Christmas.
Some gifts we’ve given our kids that were popular with them but easy on our budget include:
- Gift cards for movies, iTunes, Starbucks, and gas stations.
- Colognes and body sprays.
- Car accessories (air fresheners, license plate frames, jumper cables)
- Room accessories (posters, picture frames)
- T-shirts, sweat pants and other casual clothing
But I know that the readers of this blog have wonderful solutions of their own. So Sakura and I would love to hear from you:
How to you keep gift giving for teens affordable?
This post is part of Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.