About Us

WHAT ARE WE? Gifting Sense is a free online/mobile service that helps children get ready for all of the personal finance decisions that lie in their future – by having them thoughtfully consider what they might to like receive for birthday or holiday gifts – which teaches them how to think before they buy. We regularly deliver hands-on, interactive, in-classroom web-based workshops, but are available wherever there is internet access. Our process merely encourages kids to answer some of the questions adults normally do before spending money. Questions like “How often am I likely to wear this jacket?”, “What is the delivered-on-time cost of these soccer cleats?” or “What’s the full cost of going to a concert, including safe transportation, snacks and souvenirs?” because the ticket price is only the beginning!

WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT? We meet children, “where they are”, in the very moments they are considering various age-appropriate purchases. We believe that thinking before buying is the cornerstone of financial literacy. Which is why we believe that the habit of thinking before buying (TBB), is one of the best gifts a child could ever receive. And we don’t think it’s that hard a gift to give! Our DIMS – Does It Make Sense?® Score Calculators and Potential Purchase Quizzes (“Gift Surveys”) offer quick but meaningful just-in-time lessons on how to spend wisely; the type of lessons studies show are best at developing lasting financial well-being.

HOW DO WE GET THE JOB DONE? When are kids truly interested in learning about money? When they want some! Which is why they willingly complete Gift Surveys when asked. Sure, they do it to “get what they want”, but parents and educators know that what their son, daughter or student, is really getting, is a burst of financial education, and then the opportunity to have a relaxed but guided discussion about money and spending (with their classmates, immediate and/ or extended family members). Our process includes just enough structure (it costs how much?), and removes just enough emotion (no more FOMO!), that children are able to experience the awesome power of thinking before buying – without ever actually spending a dime.


  1. We help children understand the true value of a request, before they make it, and to only ask for items they will really use and/or appreciate…in other words, how to think before they buy.
  2. We help immediate and extended family members reduce waste by preventing the purchase of gifts that are likely to be under-appreciated and therefore under-utilized, if used at all.
  3. We spare the environment additional landfill contributions in the form of “gently-used” clothing  and toys.

WHO ARE WE? Gifting Sense was founded by Economist and Mom, Karen Holland – who credits her own mother with teaching her how to spend wisely from an early age. She worked with parents, teachers, and digital development professionals to climb her “Second Mountain” and create the site you see today – which has been specifically designed to deliver “fun-damental” financial literacy in the most engaging way possible. Her dream is that one day very soon, kids won’t even think about asking for, or buying something, unless they know it’s DIMS Score®!

Should We Use A Different Acronym?

Feel like you are living in the movie Groundhog Day? Back to school is supposed to be the high season for fresh starts. Maybe we can get closer to that ideal if we use a different acronym than RTO?



Gifting Sense Is On Outschool!

There are now four ways you can illustrate to kids the awesome power of thinking before buying without spending a dime: have them calculate the DIMS Score for a possible purchase at home, at school in class, at school via Zoom, or on Outschool!



The Real Cost of Scarcity

“Scarcity” is a book that strikes us a very reasonable explanation for why kids who constantly live with less, fail to “get the memo” on how to build a solid financial future. It also helps explain why DIMS Scores can work for kids from all economic realities.