What Do Favourite & Disappointing Holiday Gifts Have in Common?
What do favourite and disappointing holiday gifts have in common? They can both come from people who really care about us! Could we #JustAsk our loved ones what they’d like? Would that allow us to experience the “JOY Of Missing Out” (#JOMO) on giving (or receiving) disappointing holiday gifts? We like to think so.
No one wants to miss out on getting together over the holidays. Most of us have favourite family meals and traditions. And school breaks are made for things like watching the same movie every year, or stirring hot chocolate with candy canes. But who enjoys buying and giving disappointing gifts? Think about all that involves:
- Racing around, wasting time, money, and the planet’s precious resources, paying for, wrapping, and delivering gifts that may never be used or appreciated.
- Having to make returns, within narrow return windows, at far away stores.
- Going into debt or getting a “bigger than you’d like” credit card bill in January.
- Watching your kids (spouse, siblings, parents…) mask their disappointment at receiving something that wasn’t exactly (or not at all) what they hoped for.
Get The Whole Family Singing From the Same Song Sheet
Believe it or not, small but thoughtful conversations can make sure you buy favourite, versus disappointing, gifts. How do you have those conversations with kids? Easy. #JustAsk them to use the DIMS SCORE® Calculator when they’re making a wish-list. Once they understand how much something costs, as well as how much they’ll use and appreciate it, #JustAsk them to forward you the shareable summary of all the math and thinking they have done. It’s a terrific way for the whole family to make sure everyone is “singing from the same song sheet”!
Take a Few Minutes, To Save Hours, Weeks, Even Years of Disappointment
Calculating the DIMS – DOES IT MAKE SENSE? SCORE takes minutes. It’s just a tool to help families ask and answer simple questions, about typical childhood purchases, before, anyone spends a dime. Questions like:
- What do sales tax and shipping add to the cost of a seemingly small online purchase?,
- How much do safe transportation, snacks and souvenirs add to the cost of attending a concert?, or
- How often am I likely to wear a new pair of basketball shoes?
But knowing the answers to those questions in advance of a purchase, helps a young person avoid disappointment, reduce waste, and improve family harmony, all at once.
Buy Less: Protect Your Wallet & The Planet
Parents report getting fewer, better-quality, requests to spend, when their kids use the DIMS SCORE Calculator. Why? Because making basic financial information feel immediately helpful to children, allows them to develop more thoughtful spending habits, right alongside asking for gifts that make sense. And fewer, better-quality requests to spend, not only make it easier to stop wasting time and money, they make it easier to protect the planet. Because when we only buy what we’ll really use and appreciate, we’re automatically reducing our carbon footprint, not to mention the number of items we contribute to landfills.
Fewer, better-quality requests to spend not only make it easier to stop wasting time and money, they make it easier to protect the planet. Because when we only buy what we’ll really use and appreciate, we’re automatically reducing our carbon footprint, not to mention the number of items we contribute to landfills.
After years of listening to kids (24 including our own), here’s what we know for sure: children remember how much attention their families pay to their interests and preferences. Which explains why the gifts we recall with affection, aren’t necessarily the most expensive, but the ones that made us feel known and heard. You can’t imagine how many kids receive pierced earrings, but don’t have pierced ears!
Worried the young people in your life are going to ask for something that is either too expensive or unavailable? If you #JustAsk them what they’d like early enough, there’ll be time to uncover something that lies between exactly what they want, and what you can get, without going into debt, or driving across country. Because after years of delivering workshops, what do we know for sure? Kids remember how much attention families pay to their interests and preferences. Which is why the gifts we recall with affection, aren’t necessarily the most expensive, but the ones that made us feel known and heard. You can’t imagine how many kids receive pierced earrings, but don’t have pierced ears!
Kids Are More Money-Aware Than We Give Them Credit For
Believe it or not, kids have a pretty good feel for their family’s financial situation. Every February they use the DIMS SCORE® Calculator for Super Bowl tickets in workshop. And every February they want to abandon ship about halfway through. Because as soon as they understand going to the Super Bowl costs thousands of dollars, they know attending doesn’t make sense, and they want to move onto thinking about a more reasonable “ask”.
We wish parents could see the look of genuine surprise that washes across young faces in workshop, when we express the price of fancy running shoes or clothes, in terms of how many pizza dinners the average family would have to forgo in order to pay for them. Children aren’t thoughtless when they ask their parents to buy them things. What they are – is inexperienced. So, give them a little practice thinking about the trade-offs various purchases can impose on a household’s budget, then sit back and experience your most joyful winter-holiday season ever.
“What’s The Big Deal?”
Because the DIMS SCORE calculator helps kids answer for themselves, that age-old question “What’s the big deal?” Parents know the “big deal” isn’t necessarily the ticket price of a professional sporting event, but rather how much safe transportation, snacks, and souvenirs add to the total cost of attending. And parents know the “big deal” isn’t necessarily the price of a new video game, but rather the added cost of a travel case, or in-game currency for virtual merchandise such as avatar accessories.
Have Your Ever Considered Cost-Sharing Holiday Gifts?
Finally, DIMS SCORES can also be used to split the cost of a larger, more expensive gift: That shareable summary? Families can use it to help crowd-fund a purchase amongst grandparents, aunts and uncles. We’ve never met an extended family member who wouldn’t rather contribute $20, $30 or $40 towards something their grandchild, niece or nephew will use and appreciate, than waste it on earrings that won’t be worn, books that won’t be read, or games that won’t be played.
Make your household one that affectionately, comically chants, “What’s the DIMS SCORE?”, when considering a possible purchase. Learn how much more than just saving money, thinking before buying accomplishes. Give your children the gift that lasts a lifetime: the awesome power of spending with a plan. And in the New Year, let us know all about how #JustAsk allowed you to experience the #JOMO…on spending time and money to buy gifts that may never have been used or appreciated.
Here’s to early financial education, and all that it can accomplish, which is a lot.
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