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Resources > Financial Literacy > How Much Money To Give a 12-Year-Old for Their Birthday—Choose the Right Gift Amount

How Much Money To Give a 12-Year-Old for Their Birthday—Choose the Right Gift Amount

Deciding on a gift for a soon-to-be 12-year-old can be tricky—they’re no longer a child, but they’re yet to become a teenager. This may make it hard to determine what kind of gift they’d like, so giving the child money as a present may be the safest option as they can spend or save the money for what they truly want. 

If you can’t settle on the amount of money you’d like to gift, we’re here to help you out. In this article, we’ll reveal how much money to give a 12-year-old for their birthday. Plus, we’ll cover other children’s age brackets in case you have multiple children or a relative’s birthday coming up, too.

How Much To Spend on a Kid’s Birthday Gift When They Turn 12?

There’s no fixed amount you must spend on a child’s birthday. Generally, people tend to spend more money on their own children and close relatives, while they spend less on their children’s friends. Here are some general guidelines you can rely on:

  1. Child’s friends—$20 to $25 is a solid amount to give in a gift card or to spend on a present
  2. Relatives—$50 is a good amount to spend on younger relatives like nephews and nieces
  3. Your child—Up to $100 is enough to gift your child when they’re a preteen or teenager. It allows them to buy several small items or one more expensive item or put the money into savings

The amount of money you spend on a child’s birthday present also depends on their age. At 9–12 years old, children become interested in pricier products, so you may consider budgeting $50 to $60 for a relative’s birthday and $70 to $80 for your child’s gift. 

Children of this age also better understand the value of money, so you can talk to them about saving and budgeting. If your child wants a big party and an expensive gift, this is a great opportunity to teach them about managing finances by explaining they need to prioritize one or the other and encouraging them to save their birthday money.

How Much To Spend on a Kid’s Birthday Gift at Other Ages?

Once you settle on the right amount to give to a 12-year-old, you might also wonder how much money you should budget as a birthday gift before and past this age. Take a look at the appropriate amounts to gift to children in the age ranges of:

  1. 1–3
  2. 4–8
  3. 13–15
  4. 16–18

How Much Money To Give a 1-Year-Old for Their Birthday?

Shopping for children aged 1–3 might be the easiest as they still don’t understand money or birthdays, so spending a maximum of $20 on a gift for a toddler should be more than enough. If it’s a relative’s birthday, you can spend even less since children this age like stuffed animals and toys, both of which can be relatively cheap. 

How Much Money To Give a 7-Year-Old for Their Birthday?

Children aged 4–8 typically prefer having a fun birthday party to expensive presents, so if you have a child celebrating a birthday in this age range, you can focus on throwing them a great party. You may consider throwing a themed party or getting a bouncy castle if this is within your budget.

As for the amount of money you should give as a present, $30 to $40 should be enough since children in this age group still mostly prefer getting toys. If it’s a relative’s birthday, and you’re unsure which toys they like, you can also give them around $30 in a gift card.

How Much Money Should You Give a 13-Year-Old for Their Birthday?

While there’s only a one-year difference between 12 and 13, children officially become teenagers once they turn 13. Since teenagers are mostly interested in more expensive items like electronics, the amount of money you should give to children aged 13–15 increases to around $100. If your teenager would rather save up for a more expensive item, like a new iPhone, this amount is a decent sum to help them get started.

As for relatives, a budget of around $50 dollars is an appropriate gift amount for children aged 13 or older. At this age, it may also be simpler to give them money in a gift card since teenagers typically prefer cash to regular presents.

How Much Money To Give a 17-Year-Old for Their Birthday?

Once your child is between the ages of 16 and 18, a cash or a gift card is the best present you can give them. Older teenagers like having control over their purchases, and receiving money as a birthday present allows them to put the money towards what they want. 

Children in this age range typically want to spend money on more expensive items like a laptop, a gaming console, or even a car, so consider increasing your birthday budget to around $200–$300.

Types of Cash Gifts for a Child’s Birthday

While it’s important to decide how much money to give a 12-year-old for their birthday, you should also think about how you want to give them money. Besides putting cash in cash in a birthday card, here are a few different ways to give cash to your child:

  • A gift card or certificate—If there’s a specific store your child likes, you can give them a gift card or gift certificate with a certain amount of money to spend there
  • Virtual transfer—You can directly transfer money to your child through Venmo or Apple Cash. The latter even lets you track your child’s spending habits, allowing you to see if they’re spending their birthday money responsibly
  • Check—If you’re hoping your child will use the birthday money for savings, consider giving them a check since they’re easy to deposit in a bank account

Gift Your Child a Bright Financial Future With Credit Building

If you want to give your child a practical gift that will bring them long-term benefits, helping them build a solid financial foundation by establishing a good credit history is the way to go. Establishing a strong credit score early in life can later help your child with:

  • Obtaining rental housing
  • Getting financing for a vehicle, home, or credit card
  • Receiving better job offers

However, the CARD Act of 2009 makes it challenging for teenagers to build credit as it doesn’t allow people younger than 21 to obtain a credit card. While you can add your child to your credit card to help them build credit, their credit history will be lost once you remove them from your card.

A great way to circumvent this limitation and help your child build credit early is to rely on services like FreeKick. This platform offers a simple solution with parent-sponsored credit building designed for children as young as 13.

FreeKick—The Best Solution for Credit Building and ID Protection

Provided by Austin Capital Bank, FreeKick is an FDIC-insured deposit account that offers parent-sponsored credit building for teenagers and young adults between the ages of 13 and 25. FreeKick also provides comprehensive identity monitoring and protection services to help you protect the identity of your whole family of up to two adult parents and six children.

Building Credit With FreeKick

By establishing strong credit early, your child can potentially save over $200,000 throughout adulthood as they’ll be able to obtain loans with better interest rates, among other financial benefits.

FreeKick offers credit building services to assist your child in building a good credit history with your help, starting from the age of 13. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Create an Account—Go to FreeKick.bank and opt for a plan that best fits your family’s needs and budget
  2. Set It and Forget It—As soon as the account is activated, FreeKick will automatically start building your child’s credit over the next 12 months
  3. Keep Growing—After the first 12-month period ends, you can either close the account and get the full deposit back or renew it and keep building your child’s credit

Protecting Your Child’s Identity With FreeKick

Protecting your child’s credit score from identity criminals is just as important as building it since alarming statistics reveal that a child’s identity is stolen every 30 seconds

FreeKick helps you protect your child and your entire family from ID theft by offering identity monitoring and protection features for minors and adults. Here’s what the service includes:

Services for Adult Children and ParentsServices for Minor Children
Credit profile monitoring
SSN monitoring
Dark web monitoring for personal information
Up to $1 million identity theft insurance
Full-service white-glove concierge credit restoration
Lost wallet protection
Court records monitoring
Change of address monitoring
Non-credit (Payday) loan monitoring
Free FICO® Score monthly
FICO® Score factors
Experian credit report monthly
Credit profile monitoring
SSN monitoring
Dark web monitoring for children’s personal information
Up to $1 million identity theft insurance
Full-service white-glove concierge credit restoration
Sex offender monitoring—based on sponsor parent’s address

FreeKick Pricing

FreeKick offers plans that suit every family’s needs and budget. Its two pricing plans include deposits that are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Find the details in the table below:

FDIC-Insured Deposit AmountPlan Fee
$3,000$0 (Free)
No deposit$149/year

Help your child establish a strong credit profile early and protect your family from identity criminals—sign up for FreeKick today.