Does a 10-Year-Old Need a $75 Money Gift?

by Miranda Marquit · 6 comments

My son just turned 10. He received some good, solid gifts from a variety of folks. He also received a few money gifts, in the range of $10 to $20. That makes sense to me. What I don’t understand is why one of his gifts was $75.

Does a 10-year-old really need a $75 money gift? It’s one thing to stick $75 into the 529 plan we have set up for him, and quite another to stick that cash into a card. One of the reasons that I had an issue (although respecting the generosity behind the gesture) was that my son’s thoughts immediately zoomed into riches untold, rhapsodizing about useless and expensive gadgets that he never really cared about before.

Some of that Money Goes to Savings

Of course, I was proud when, asked what he would do with the money by grinning givers, he said that the first thing that had to happen was that some of the money had to pay tithing, and some of it had to go into his long-term savings. I was glad that he recognized the importance of those actions.

Unfortunately, he then began babbling about all the expensive things he would buy with the money. Most of the things he listed can’t actually be bought with $75. But he’s 10, and his concept of what things actually cost is diminished. All he knew was that he ended up with what, to him, amounted to a massive windfall, and he began imagining riches beyond the dreams of avarice.

All of a sudden, his rather modest goals for his money became insufficient, and discontent reared its ugly head. Realizing that he wouldn’t be able to buy all those things immediately put him in a foul mood. (We discussed reality after he had thanked his benefactors and got off the Skype chat.) He became grumpy when he began to understand that $75 wouldn’t cover what he thought it would.

I realized that he was happier with the $10 and $20 gifts he had received from others than he was with the $75. He knew exactly what to expect with those amounts. He knew how to parse them down, and understood the way they would work with his goals. However, the $75 was more than he was ready for.

What Does a 10-Year-Old Buy with $75 Anyway?

Really, I wasn’t sure what a 10-year-old would buy with that money anyway. He’s 10. We buy his clothes, and if he gets a more expensive item, it’s usually for his birthday, or for Christmas. There’s no real reason for him to have so much cash in hand. It’s hard to tell an excited child that almost all of that money has to go into savings. He got it as a gift. So he doesn’t want to use it to buy needs, and I worry that forcing him to put most of into savings will turn his love of his savings account to resentment.

For now, we’ll just try to balance it out, and show him how the money, even after tithing and savings, can help him finish reaching his goal for something he’s had his eye on for a long time.

What do you think? Do children need big money gifts?

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Gillian @ Money After Graduation November 9, 2012 at 8:58 am

I’d say it’s a lot, and maybe pretty unnecessary. Maybe if they wanted to give that much, they could give the money to you to purchase things for him (or save it, or whatever!)

Ashleigh November 14, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Perhaps. It is a lot but I would say it is the ideal time to teach your child about budgets and how to handle your money. You could take him shopping to show him how much items cost versus how much he has and how much he needs to save.

sebastiaan June 23, 2013 at 4:47 am

No money as a gift, period.

heavyfuel11 July 5, 2013 at 1:44 am

$75 dollars? Well, how should he/she pay for the cigarettes and alcohol? Minimum would be around $100 dollars. Otherwise he/she would not be able to buy crystal meth and crack.

Euro July 6, 2013 at 11:34 pm

If he got a gift, let him enjoy it! He needs to learn how to deal with generous gifts as well as ungenerous gifts.

aaron July 26, 2013 at 1:45 am

Paying tithing? Really? Paying a dirty old man/woman to talk about a fictitious book is wrong. Let the child be a child, teach him the value of money, talk to him about what he could buy if he saves his money. Get him to set goals and such. Then when he reaches the amount required for his items he will be gracious and know the value of a dollar!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: