Why I don’t buy gifts for my grandkids
FORGET the mad rush on December 24 for that last minute gift, or the sound of wrapping paper being shredded under the tree on Christmas morning.
Because for this grandmother-of-two, the idea of giving her grandchildren gifts at Christmas went out the window before they were even born.
Instead of buying the latest computer game or stuffed toy for her two young grandchildren, Amanda Derham has adopted a trend of her own - investing in the share market on their behalf.
"Rather than buy the latest Jacquard jacket for my granddaughter, who will just grow out of in 3-4 months, I want to think of her future and so I put away money for Christmas and their birthdays over the years," Ms Derham, from Melbourne, told news.com.au.
"Money buys opportunities, and that's the best thing you can do for a child or a grandchild."
Putting money away instead of throwing it into trendy toys is a tradition she's decided to follow on from her own grandmother.
During World War II, Ms Derham's grandmother started a mail order business selling live yeast, which earnt a small amount of money she decided to put away for Amanda when she was a child.
"My grandmother died when I was 13, and in those days there wasn't as much money in the community," she said.
"When I was 21, I returned home after working in Europe and South America totally penniless and needed to buy a car, pay rent and re-establish myself.
"My dad told me that my grandmother had left me a legacy, which was unbeknown to me. "She saved over $10k and put it away for me, so on my 21st birthday there was this amazing legacy with no strings attached that helped me re-establish myself."
Ms Derham has implemented that same strategy for her own grandchildren, by adding small increments of money into an online investment account called Six Park. The investment platform offers five pre-mixed, diversified investment portfolios which are managed on your behalf, rather than putting your money into birthday and Christmas gifts that will be forgotten within months.
"For my grandchildren, goodness knows what they will need in the future," she said. "But this money they can put towards something they want.
"For my five-month-old granddaughter, I will put away $10k as an establishment this year and add to it in increments, maybe $50 or $100 each year.
"For my two-year-old grandson, I did the same, and I have gradually added to it. Some Christmases you can't add much, but the important thing is to just establish it and add to it when you can."
Earlier today, an Australian mother posted several photographs on social media showing how many gifts she'd purchased for her children.
The gifts were stored across 14 cupboards in the family home, ranging from video games to chocolate and even bikes.
"Finally emptied my Christmas cupboards to see what I've collected over the last few months … did I mention that I LOATHE wrapping presents," she wrote next to a photo of hundreds of gifts.
While some questioned her extravagant gift giving, the mother said it "makes no sense" why people who make negative comments about her gift giving.
"I love Christmas and so do my kids," she wrote.
"People assume my kids are uncaring or bratty because they have lots of presents. That makes no sense to me lol."
Ms Derham says she didn't have the money to do investment as a gift for her own children, but hopes her approach to Christmas and birthdays will teach her grandkids about saving and money management.
"I hope they think wow, in the same way I was in awe of what my grandmother did for me," she explained.
"I think people have to be happy with their decision and how they spend their money. I can't afford the latest and the greatest all the time so my preference is to save and put money away for them when I can."