U.S. consumers expect to spend an average of $654 on holiday gifts this year, reports the Conference Board. And if you have kids, you might easily end up with that high a credit card tab — or more, depending on what’s on their wish lists.
There are certain gifts you may be super excited to present to your kids this Christmas. But do be aware that these three in particular are going to come with added costs for your personal finances.
A bike is a great gift to give a child. It promotes exercise and fresh air, after all. But a bike might end up costing you more than expected because you really should purchase safety gear to go along with it. And the cost of a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads can really add up.
In fact, you might spend $30 on a kids bike helmet alone at Target. And remember, your kids might outgrow their gear faster than they outgrow their bikes. So you might have to replace that gear a few times over.
Your kids may be itching for a gaming system this Christmas. And that certainly makes for a nice gift. But remember, a gaming system is pretty useless without actual games to play. And the cost of those can be significant.
The New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe game for a Nintendo Switch, for example, is available at Target right now for $49.99. But chances are, your kids are going to want more than just one game if you buy them a Switch. So you may be looking at an additional $100 or more to actually “complete” that gift.
Imagine the joy on your kids’ faces to get an adorable kitten or puppy for Christmas. But aside from the work and commitment involved, you should know that adopting a pet means taking on a world of expenses.
The ASPCA says it costs about $800 a year to own a cat and about $900 a year to own a medium-sized dog. But that assumes your pet doesn’t run into health issues that increase the cost of your care.
Also, you might spend extra to own a pet if you need a dog-walker because you’re at the office all day, or if you travel a lot and need to hire someone to look after your pet while you’re away. And you should highly consider a pet insurance policy to protect yourself from potentially astronomical costs in the event of an injury or illness, which is another expense to bear year after year.
It’s natural to want to surprise your kids with awesome gifts during the holidays. But some of the gifts you may have in mind could end up coming with added costs — and in the case of a pet, a whole lot of added work for you. Be mindful of that as you make your decisions. You may want to think about sticking to gifts where you make a single purchase and are all set, especially if money is tight.
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The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.Maurie Backman has positions in Target. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Target. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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