YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Money problems don’t have to be the Grinch that steals Christmas.

The Ohio Department of Commerce is bringing awareness to financial literacy and the teachable moments for parents right now. It knows Christmas can be stressful for parents.

One of the agency’s suggestions is to explain to children that they make a list of gifts they want. And then a second, shorter list of the gifts they really, really want.

“If you kind of focus on what it is I really want, it allows them to kind of make better decisions when it comes to finances down the road,” said Viktoria Jurkovic, consumer affairs manager.

It’s not too late for procrastinators to set a budget for Christmas. Explaining to children that there is only so much money to spend helps them make better decisions on the gifts they want.

Another way to cap lists is to use the premise of:

  • Something you want
  • Something you need
  • Something to wear
  • Something to read

In the end, state experts say that gift-giving can become too materialistic and that we may forget tiny moments that make this time of year magical. Having the discipline to not get caught up competing with peers, is one of the most important lessons one can learn when it comes to financial literacy, the agency wrote.