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Giving gifts to people is often a minefield of problems. What do they like? Is that the one they already have? Am I spending too much or too little? Did I get them this last year? Is this a suitable gift for their age? This is made even worse when buying for children – particularly, someone else’s children.  Why not give money as a gift instead?

There is an etiquette around gift giving and when buying gifts for children, it can often become a logistical nightmare for parents to navigate too. So, is it okay to give money as a gift? It certainly solves a number of problems but, in turn, it also creates a lot of other potential issues too. A savings app can help to solve these problems – read on to find out how.

Too many plastic gifts!

In the past ten years, the conversation regarding plastic and its various uses has grown in momentum, and quite right too; some reports state numbers as high as 8 million tonnes of plastic being dumped into the ocean each year. In 2017, The Huffington Post reported that around 90% of the children’s toys produced are made out of plastic. This is an alarming statistic, particularly when you consider that the vast majority of children’s toys are aimed at a specific age, meaning that they quickly become boring or too young for the child to enjoy playing with them. 

What happens to the toy then? 

Many end up in charity shops or passed down to younger siblings or friends’ children to play with, but many more end up in landfills or, worse still, in the ocean. Plastic does not break down and, so, these toys are clogging up the planet when they fall out of favour.

These numbers are even more concerning when you consider a further report from The Huffington Post in 2019 which claims that 28% of UK parents have admitted to throwing away perfectly good toys, following a survey which found that a child loses interest in a toy, on average, within 36 days. This could account for millions of plastic toys every year that are just going to waste. When giving a gift, these numbers are worth giving thought to and can make it more appealing to give money as a gift.

Giving money and the power to choose

It’s no wonder that so many people are considering giving money as a gift or even vouchers to children these days. Of course, children should have toys to play with but with the majority of parents likely to say how unwieldy their child’s toy collection can become – especially around Christmas and birthdays – is it time to look at other gift options? We think it is.

With so many options on the market, buying gifts for children can often be a logistical nightmare for parents to organise. Ensuring that nobody is buying the same gift twice, that nobody is buying something the child already has, that nobody is buying anything inappropriate… It’s a tricky circumstance for parents to navigate. The etiquette around giving gifts is such that the conversation and planning around it can completely remove the initial thoughtfulness or spontaneity (“I saw this and thought of you!”) from gift giving.

Isn't giving money awkward?

It might be, sometimes. However, contributing to a child’s savings account provides an easy way to circumnavigate all of the awkward, tedious conversations, and also offers a way to teach your child the power of having savings, as well as giving you the chance to navigate away from the over-reliance on plastic toys as gifts. Some savings apps enable parents to set up savings funds for special gifts or experiences for their child and allow for contributions to be added by friends and family members. Imagine if your child really wants an expensive games console: that cost can add up quickly with the purchase of games and additional controllers, etc. Not every parent can afford to buy this outright. 

In a scenario where the child is gifted money from friends and family, they should be given the responsibility to manage that money and make sensible choices accordingly. By doing this, you would be empowering your child to take responsibility and, in all likelihood, increase their desire to take care of their special asset. Furthermore, giving the gift of money means that it can be used for something that the child actually needs, as opposed to a flash in the pan interest or toy.

Have you tried a savings app?

With the Offspring Savings app, this is easy to setup and organise: the parent need only create the goal and family and friends can contribute as much (or as little). There’s no actual need for anyone to setup a new bank account as Offspring Savings use pre-existing bank accounts, meaning the funds that are raised for the monetary gift can be deposited straight into the parent’s or the child’s existing bank account.

This grants the adult visibility of the gifts received, ensuring that they are also able to take it as an opportunity to teach their child a number of valuable life lessons, such as the value of money; saving with a purpose; not requiring endless possessions and toys (thus reducing the amount of wasted plastic toys too!).

Group saving from Offspring

In short, the Offspring Savings app can take the stress out of gift giving for all concerned. It enables the parents to take greater control over what their child receives and how it is spent; removes any awkwardness and logistical necessity required to avoid doubling up; reduces the amount of plastic toys that will end up in a landfill; and ensures that the child gets what they need – in a number of ways!