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What do you do when relatives give your child money for their birthday?

Do you make them save it? All of it or just a portion? What if they're really young and money is tight? Do you use it for things they need? When my son was born we were given several hundred. The cards and checks were addressed to him, but we it to open a savings account for him. We don't take money out of it regularly, but if money was really tight and we needed something for him or something really important for ourselves-like one time when we got a flat tire-we would use it. What do you think of this?


Asked by metalhealthmama at 3:03 PM on Dec. 29, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (11)
  • Depends on how much it is. If its only 20 or so, he chooses a toy and he pays for it with that (he's 3 by the way) if its like 100 then he picks one toy and the rest goes into an emergency account that we use if money is tight. I would never take his money and use for personal pleasure though. Like pp said even if your spending it on food it still benefits the child.

    Answer by mom06and09 at 5:54 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • i dont see anything wrong with it. someone gave my son $100 when he was 1yo and we were really broke and had no food, we used that for groceries. some moms would never do that, but i couldnt let my kids go hungry until payday.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:09 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • Encourage them to save it, but I do allow our son to spend it so he can enjoy it as well. Do you have a separate savings account for yourselves? I think that money for your son was for anything he needed.  You use it as you see fit.


    Answer by Apr1l at 3:10 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • We also have a savings account for ourselves. The idea is that we withdraw less from his than we do from ours, of course, but we have to have a certain amount in there or else we're charged maintence fees...which are ridiculously high.

    Answer by metalhealthmama at 3:12 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • We put their money in their own savings, I was thinking that hopefully when their old enough for a car maybe they'll have enough to help out. But if you absolutely had to take a loan from it, it's understandable. Please keep track and pay it back if you can though. My mom used to take any money I would get, and to this day I resent her for it. ( I know it's stupid but I do, and I wouldn't want you to have that problem)


    Answer by Anonymous at 3:23 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • I know it's horrible, that's why this is anon, but I just spend it. If it's a check I just deposit it, if it's cash I just spend it. My MIL always says to get something they need, but honestly they never need anything.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:24 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • I take half of the money and buy a savings bonds with it. The other half gets spent on anything they wanted and didn't get, or entertainment, or bills if needed.

    Answer by Rileysmom425 at 3:25 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • My daughter saves half of what she gets: gift, babysitting, good report card money; the other half she spends.

    The saved portion goes into her college fund / brokerage account.

    Answer by rkoloms at 3:28 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • half goes into savings the other to spend how they see fit. I have never taken my children's money without paying it back. Even when they were younger. Though I have used it to buy clothes and shoes for them.

    Answer by pagirl71 at 4:02 PM on Dec. 29, 2009

  • I save all of my daughters or send it to the prepaid college fund. But if I were in a bind, I'd use it. What's more important: Saving the money, or not having a car to take your child to the doctor or not having food for his tummy? In the end, he still benefits.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:32 PM on Dec. 29, 2009