5 Reasons You Should Give Gift Cards to Children

Should you or shouldn’t you? I cannot tell you how many times I have struggled to find the right present for the child of a friend or family member… Do you find it hard to buy for other kids too? Well I have always shied away from giving gift cards to these children because I felt like I was cheating. You know, tot putting the effort in to get something spectacular for them. Something they will talk about for the next year. We know that is not reasonable or realistic. So I’m going to be real…  I’ve caved! And I think you should too! Here are 5 reasons you should give gift cards to children.

Gift card and Teachable Moments

1. Responsibility:

You know as well as I do, going to a toy store with a child usually means the “I wants” come out quickly. Honestly everything in the store becomes a coveted item, right? But when it is their own money (gift card), they are more discriminating. You might want to help them by encouraging them to make a list of what they might want to buy and investigating reviews before going shopping. Plus, this is a way to avoid impulse purchases … and it is never too early to teach children how this valuable lesson. Focus on the fact that this is a DEBIT card not a CREDIT card, if they are old enough to understand the difference.

2. Math:

We are big believers in learning via life experiences and shopping is one of the best ways for children to learn math and money concepts. This would be a great time to teach them how to comparison shop, help them stretch those dollars a little farther.

3. Decision-making:

The best financial lesson we can teach our children is the difference between needs and wants. As kids begin to have money at their disposal, it is time to teach good saving and spending habits. Since this is a gift, we don’t want to discourage them from buying something they want though… but we can encourage some reasonable spending habits.

Practical Reasons to Give Gift Cards

4. Freedom to Choose What They Want:

Gift Cards are efficient! With the child being able to buy what they want, it is always the perfect size and color!

5. No Wasted Shopping Trips and No Returns

Have I mentioned I live an hour outside of Memphis? And not to mention I have only boys?So I have a very limited amount of time to investigate and a very poor pool of information providers, for girls’ gifts especially. Let’s be honest,  if I make a buying mistake, it not only disappoints the recipient, but chances are you, the parents, have to get involved in returning it! So, really I’m saving YOU a ton of headaches by buying your child a gift card instead!

Which Gift Card Is Best?

There are too many stores out there now offering gift cards to even attempt to list them all. If you know the child loves a certain brand of clothing or a certain theme park, you could certainly buy gift cards from there specifically. But I personally prefer to buy plan ole Visa Gift Cards. I can’t tell you how many gift certificates and cards over the years that expired. Visa Gift Cards don’t expire. And you can personalize them …  click here to see all the cute and fun ways you can customize it.  And finally, they are very easy to use because most places take them.

Oh, and did I mention gift cards are super easy to wrap? Maybe this should be Number 6!?!

So what do you think? Will you now consider giving a gift card? 



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  1. Both of my kids love receiving gift cards. (I do too actually!) It has really helped them learn the value of something too. They know they have a set amount to spend & will have to pay out of their own money if they go over. Both have become really frugal shoppers often asking me if Ihave any coupons they could use!

  2. My kids would love to get gift cards! And I agree that it would be a great way to start teaching about money management.

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