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5 Ways To Avoid Wasting Money On Presents For Your Kids

Take a look around your house – specifically, in your children’s rooms. Make a note of all the presents and toys that you bought in the past, then see how many are collecting dust. You’ll be shocked and horrified at how many of the presents are no longer being used. Perhaps most shocking is the fact that your child only had a birthday a month or two ago and they’ve already stopped using what you bought them. 

You’re not so much offended as you are annoyed. It’s okay if your child doesn’t like a toy – you didn’t make the toy, so why should you care? What’s irritating is that you spent money on a toy that your child seemingly liked at the time, only for them to move on very quickly. When you add up all the money you’ve spent over the years, you realize you are wasting a fortune on birthday and Christmas presents

So, how do you stop doing this? Today, let’s explore some of the clever ways you can avoid wasting money on presents for your kids:

Avoid fads or phases

Every kid goes through phases where they think something is the absolute best thing ever. Oh my God, that new toy from the adverts is amazing, I must have it!! They’ll pester you for weeks to let them get it, and you eventually cave. They receive the gift, it’s the best thing they’ve ever got, and then it doesn’t get played with after a week or two. 

It’s okay for kids to go through phases, but you should avoid buying presents around them. Or, if you do get them presents, buy things that aren’t super expensive. Otherwise, you’re in an endless cycle of buying a gift that’s cool for a few weeks, only for it to be irrelevant once the next thing comes in. 

Instead, a smarter approach is to try and pick presents that have more longevity. Something like an iPad or a games console; these items aren’t just fads. They are devices your child is likely to enjoy and play with for years. The only time they stop playing with them is when the item gets too old, in which case you can upgrade it to the next version. Stop thinking about instant gratification and think about presents with the future in mind. 

Don’t guess what your kids like

Sometimes, money is wasted because you’re buying gifts that you think your kids will enjoy. Why do we always do this? I see it happen at Christmas all the time, and I remember it from when I was a child. You’re given a list from your kids stating exactly what they like, you may buy a few things, but then you decide they need a few surprises. The thought is lovely, but you are literally throwing money down the drain if you keep buying things your child doesn’t like. 

Even worse, it makes you feel like a bad parent! You realize that you don’t actually know much about your children or their interests. Instead, take the time to get to know what your children enjoy. There are sites like Kids Love WHAT that can help you understand what children enjoy at certain ages. Obviously, all kids are different, but it’s a good starting point to see what children are into. 

However, the best approach is to just ask your kids. Ask them what they like! Have a look around their bedroom, check their Netflix-watching habits, and you will soon have some big ideas in your head. This allows you to buy a few surprise gifts that they weren’t expecting, but with more confidence that they’ll be well-received. 


Buy gifts that have more gift potential in the future

Okay, this might sound confusing, but let me explain. Some gifts are bought, and that’s it. They’re only used in the current state that they’re in. Eventually, they don’t get used anymore, so they’re a waste of money. Well, they’re a ‘waste’ if they stop getting used very quickly. It’s okay to buy your kids something that gets played with for years before becoming obsolete. 

Nevertheless, a clever approach is to buy gifts that have more gift potential in the future. In essence, you get your child something that can then be the basis of more gifts. I already mentioned something that fits this description perfectly; a games console. For instance, you buy your child a Nintendo Switch, and you suddenly have something that more gifts can be bought around in the future. Next birthday you get them some new games, or a case, or some accessories. All of the future gifts add to the original gift and make it last for longer and keep being used.

Games consoles aren’t the only examples of this. Even something for younger kids – like a doll’s house – can be fantastic. Once they have the house, you can keep buying gifts related to that to make the house last longer. It encourages your kids to keep playing with the gift, so it doesn’t feel like a waste of money. 

Be careful when buying clothes as gifts

Clothes can often feel like a good gift decision. Well, they’re something you can buy your kids when you don’t really know what else to buy. My question to you is, should you be buying clothes as presents for your kids? After all, they’re essential – you’re going to need to buy them clothes throughout the year anyway. Plus, kids grow so quickly, meaning the top you bought them for their birthday no longer fits in a few months. 

For me, it’s a better idea to buy certain items of clothing as gifts. Get things that are unlikely to be too small for your child a few months down the line. You know, socks, underwear, hats; these kinds of things. Or, get them clothing accessories; bracelets, bags, etc. Accessories are rarely going to be outgrown by your kids, so they’re always a good option. When it comes to things like tops or pants, maybe avoid buying them as gifts until your child stops growing really quickly. Also, family members and friends love buying clothes as presents, so what’s the point in you adding to this? 

Find out what other people are buying

That last point ties into this one perfectly. What are other people buying your children? Are your relatives planning on getting them specific things? A lot of money can be wasted when you get the same presents as someone else. You both buy your child the same thing, meaning you’re doubling up and wasting cash. Especially if you don’t keep the receipt, so you can’t send the item back. 

A quick text to family members or people that you know are buying presents for your kids can help you see what they’re getting. As a result, you can avoid buying the same presents, meaning you save a lot of money. 

Make no mistake about it, buying gifts for kids is actually very challenging. They seem like they’re really easy to buy for, but the endless supply of unused presents in their bedroom says otherwise. Again, you can’t get offended when a child doesn’t like or use a gift. But, you can be a bit annoyed because it is a waste of money. Hopefully, these tips will help you make better decisions, ensuring the gifts you purchase are less likely to be wasted. Therefore, you don’t spend money on presents that are used a couple of times and discarded.

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